Stoke City manager Tony Pulis would have loved to have Joey Barton in his side to face Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Instead the controversial midfielder will be in the opposing line-up at the Britannia Stadium after his move to Rangers from Newcastle late in the transfer window.
Pulis likes to build a side around strong personalities, even if the player has been controversial in the past, and he would have relished having Barton at his disposal.
"He would have come with a bit of baggage, yeah, but I might have enjoyed that," said Pulis.
"I spoke to him and he came over as a lovely lad. I don't know him personally but having had a chat with him he came over as quite a sincere fella and completely different to what his persona is.
"But it wasn't to be. He's done great with QPR and no one should be surprised because he is a top player."
Stoke are looking to bounce back from four straight defeats before the international break, and Pulis is hoping the break has helped his side.
He added: "I'm more sympathetic now towards the players than when I was after the 5-0 defeat at Bolton.
"I was tired, the third time in six days, never mind the players."