Fulham boss Martin Jol sang the praises of Dimitar Berbatov following his starring role in the 3-0 victory over West Brom and is hopeful he can fill the goalscoring void left by the departure of Clint Dempsey.
Berbatov struck a brace on his home debut as Jol's side eased to a comfortable victory over a Baggies team reduced to 10 men in the first half when Peter Odemwingie was sent off for kicking Sascha Riether.
"I think he did more than he has ever done before in his life," the Dutchman said. "He was at the back, he was in midfield, he was up-front and he scored a good goal so I was happy."
The first goal saw the 31-year-old take control of the ball and bend it inside Ben Foster's post, with the second coming from a penalty at the end of the first half. Steve Sidwell added the third in the 89th minute to hand Fulham their second win of the season.
As well as opening his goalscoring account for Fulham, Berbatov also contributed from a defensive point of view and Jol was happy with his all-round performance.
He added: "We had a young bench and that is why I was so pleased with Dimitar."
After losing top goalscorer Dempsey to Tottenham in the final hours of the transfer window, Jol is now hoping former Manchester United frontman Berbatov can become the club's new talisman.
"That is a challenge for him," he said. "I think he scored 23 goals when I had him at Spurs. I'm sure that if he is fit then he will do what Clint Dempsey did for us."
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke tasted his first league defeat in charge of the Baggies and bemoaned their start to the game as the main reason behind the loss.
He said: "I was disappointed with the way we started the game. I thought we allowed Fulham to get too much control in the game, we started slowly and suffered for that because we lost a goal. The biggest disappointment in the first half was losing the second goal right on half-time."
- Dimitar Berbatov
- Clint Dempsey
- West Brom