Hull City boss Steve Bruce has pinpointed Fernando Forestieri as a player of Premier League quality and admitted his surprise that Sheffield Wednesday were able to sign him from Watford last summer, the Sheffield Star reports.
The 26-year-old helped the Hornets get promoted to the top flight but was allowed to join the Owls shortly after. And he has been instrumental in leading Carlos Carvalhal's men into the promotion picture, finishing the regular campaign as the club's top goalscorer.
And ahead of the play-off final between Wednesday and his side, the Tigers boss conceded that he was shocked to see that he was allowed to leave Vicarage Road as he felt that the forward had something to offer at the highest level.
"Forestieri is one of the outstanding players in the league. He was their marquee signing last summer and I have to say I was a bit surprised that Watford sold him," he told the Star.
"I thought he had a future in the Premier League. They've made him available and Sheffield Wednesday stepped in. You have to say that he's their talisman. He's given a free role and he’s a good player."
Forestieri's ability to drop between the lines of the opposition's defence and midfield, or move out wide means that he will pose a constant threat to Hull when they meet at Wembley as he is always looking to get onto the ball.
But despite the challenges that marking Forestieri presents, Bruce will be hoping that they are able to keep him quiet as it may go a long way to ensuring that Hull book their return to the top flight at the first time of asking.