Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed striker Rickie Lambert after his side’s 3-1 win over reigning champions Manchester City.
Lambert, who turns 31 on Saturday, has netted 11 goals in the English Premier League this term, making him the most prolific Englishman in the top flight.
And Pochettino, who took over from Nigel Adkins in January, says he was surprised to learn that Lambert had spent much of his career in the lower leagues.
He told reporters: “For me, he’s an extraordinary footballer. When I see his career, I’m surprised he hasn’t played longer in the Premier League.
“He has many qualities and none are outstanding over the others. It’s well known he’s a good player, he can shoot well and he’s skilful, what surprised me is his mentality.”
Pochettino recorded his first win as Southampton manager on Saturday having led his side to two draws and a defeat in his opening three fixtures.
And the Argentine said his squad have instantly taken to his plans to take the club forward.
“We have a methodology and philosophy and the players have shown a great willingness to accept it,” he said.
“The players have a great capacity for assimilating ideas, a great intelligence and have also adapted very, very well.”