Sunderland hot-shot Darren Bent has hailed Kenwyne Jones as 'probably the best I have played up front with' as he prepares to face his old strike partner at the Stadium of Light.
Bent forged a good understanding with the Trinidad and Tobagan target man last term before Jones was moved on to Stoke in an £8million deal over the summer.
The pair will come face to face for the first time since Jones' departure when the Black Cats and Potters go head-to-head on Wearside on Saturday and Bent has nothing but praise for his old team-mate.
He told the Daily Express: "Kenwyne was brilliant to play up front with and probably the best I have played up front with in my career.
"I always felt he did well in most games. Even when it was said he wasn't running, he wasn't doing this or that, he had a real presence.
"Kenwyne has done well at Stoke and probably feels he has a point to prove."
While Sunderland have struggled to score goals since Jones' departure - with only Bent hitting the target regularly - Sunderland chairman Naill Quinn backed manager Steve Bruce's decision to sell the frontman on.
He said: "Kenwyne could have been one of the greatest players to have played for this club but I felt the time was right to change.
"He was a great character and the gods will tell you it is set up for him to rub our faces in it.
"We have a team we are comfortable with even after last Sunday."
The chairman has given Bruce his full backing after the 5-1 hammering against arch-rivals Newcastle last time, saying: "We must try and make amends against Stoke.
"Steve was flat in the early part of the week, but there is a determination about Steve and you do not lose that.
"There will be ebbs and flows, there is in management. But, for me, he is the perfect manager for this club.
"Other than last Sunday at Newcastle I like the way we play. A lot of our fans would say that.
"There's something good about us out-playing for long periods Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal."