Paul Dickov has backed first signing Marc De Val Fernandez to cope with the rough and tumble of the Championship.
Dickov successfully completed his long personal hunt for the Spanish midfielder by snapping him up on a two year deal.
And he believes the former Real Madrid B player will adapt to English football and become ‘a top player.’
“The first thing I told him was he’s too pretty, he needs to get a few scars,” Dickov told the Star.
“But he took great delight in telling me he had 23 stitches last season, which was music to my ears.
“He’s got a bit of steel about him, you could see that as soon as he trained with us.
“He wins the ball and, as you’d expect with a Spanish kid, he’s very good when he’s got it.
“It might take him a bit of time to settle but he’s got the potential to be a top, top player.
“He’s the type of young, hungry player we want.”
Fernandez spent last season with CD Olimpic de Xativa who he joined after leaving Real Madrid.
Dickov first attempted to sign the 23-year-old at Oldham two years ago but was faced with a compensation bill of up to £700,000.
But his interest did not waiver.
Dickov said: “As soon as I got this job he was one of the players I spoke to.
“I’ve kept him in touch with him over the last couple of years.”