Roy Hodgson was full of praise for West Bromwich Albion striker Shane Long following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sunerland at the Stadium of Light.
The Baggies made a stunning start to the match on Wearside, with Long adding a second inside five minutes after James Morrison had headed the visitors in-front. It didn't last though, with Nicklas Bendtner and Ahmed Elmohamady responding for the Black Cats.
It was Long, a summer signing from Reading, who impressed Hodgson most on the trip though, and not for the first time the former Liverpool boss was full of praise for the £4.5 million signing.
"He was outstanding, he really was. Shane came from Ireland where he was hurling at the age of 17. He's gone to Reading, become an international, become a star player, got into the Premier League and it's a meteoric rise really," he told the official West Brom website.
"He's started very late and is still new to the game. I thought it would take him longer to get used to the Premier League, vis a vis what the Premier League is to the Championship.
"He got off to a flying start against Manchester United but on Saturday his overall play was very good. His target play was good, he was a threat in front and behind defenders and his work rate was outstanding. We thought this lad had potential - and we're still talking about potential.
"I think in three years time, when he's played lots of games, then I'm sure a decision will be formed on whether he is a top Premier League performer or not. I was delighted with his performance. We didn't pay much for him at all. It was, in my opinion, potentially the bargain of the year."
Peter Odemwingie enjoyed a slightly less successful day in-front of goal against Steve Bruce's side, with last season's top scorer failing to trouble the scorers despite a couple of chances.
Hodgson admits the striker is his own harshest critic, but is in no doubt he will come good once again for the Hawthorns outfit.
"It's a pity that Peter didn't have one of his better games. He's very harsh on himself and sets high standards. Even when he doesn't play well he's dangerous," the boss continued.
"Had he been anything like his normal self ,with Long in the form he was in, then we would have been even more dangerous. Under normal circumstances I might have put Cox on but I didn't want to destroy Peter and hoped he might produce some magic late on.
"I was wrong on that one - but that's the reason we kept Peter on."
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