GARY Rowett says Burton Albion have only seen a fraction of striker Stuart Beavon's abilities.
The Brewers signed the 30-year-old on a three-year deal yesterday after his contract was settled by Preston North End.
Albion had brought the pacy frontman in on a season-long loan – but jumped at the chance to sign him permanently when the opportunity arose.
"I think what we've seen so far is only a fraction of what he's got," said a delighted Rowett.
"In the first few games he was almost unplayable, against Wigan and against teams in our division.
"He'll be a huge player for us – it would also cost a bit of money to find someone like that. The fact we've managed to get him for nothing is a fantastic coup for us."
Beavon has made six appearances so far, scoring twice for the Brewers.
He has been a key man in Albion's rise to the top of League Two.
Rowett knew there was a chance Beavon could arrive on a permanent basis, making the deal to sell Billy Kee to Scunthorpe far more straightforward.
"It was a big thing for us after losing Billy," he said. "That's one of the reasons why I felt it was wise to do the (Kee) deal on the proviso of bringing Stuart in.
"We've started the season brilliantly well and he's been a key factor in that.
"We also didn't want to risk losing him in January (through Preston's recall clause).
"The chairman has been brilliant in bringing him in permanently."
A few eyebrows may be raised on handing a 30-year-old a three-year contract, but Rowett says the player's desire and quality make it a sound deal.
"He's come into the game late and that's a big factor," said the manager. "Coming into the game at the age of 23 or 24 gives players that hunger and desire.
"The first thing you notice is his quality and close behind that is his attitude.
"He would be a vital player if he scored no goals all season! He brings other players into the game.
"I don't see his age being an issue.
"One of the reasons for getting him was he was based locally – that was a huge thing for him, along with the club's ambition.
"To bring someone in like that on a one-year deal would not have been possible.
"We've seen enough to know that it's not a gamble."