Fulham manager Roy Hodgson believes David Healy can still make an impact in the Premier League despite allowing him to leave the club in the summer.
The Northern Ireland striker joined Sunderland for £1.2million after failing to secure a place in Hodgson's starting line-up, most of his appearances coming from the bench.
Despite a successful international record of 34 goals in 64 games the 28-year-old failed to emulate his form in the Premier League with Fulham.
But Hodgson believes that regular first-team action could bring about a change in fortune for the striker, who faces his former club on Saturday.
"It's a slightly different game international football to Premiership football," insisted Hodgson.
"The Premier League has an intensity that very few international matches can match up to.
"It wasn't easy for him to come into the team last season. We were struggling, battling for our lives.
"Perhaps he needs to be in a situation where it's more stable and maybe Sunderland is able to give him that this year.
"His international goalscoring record is very good and if he starts scoring then there's no reason he can't do that in the Premier League."
Hodgson believes that Healy may thrive under his new manager and is quick to wish him well at Sunderland.
"He's a very good finisher and he knows how to score goals," added Hodgson. "He knows where the goal is and he can finish.
"Strikers need the confidence of their coach and need to know that if they have a bad game, they won't be put on the bench next week.
"David didn't get it here and I can only hope he gets it at Sunderland."