Danny Hylton was Gary Waddock’s sole recruit as Oxford United manager.
Now Andy Awford’s assistant has issued a warning over the striker who has registered 15 goals so far this season.
Restricted by an ongoing takeover at the Kassam Stadium last summer, then U’s boss Waddock was allowed to make just the one signing.
That was Hylton, who was available on a free following an unsuccessful campaign at Rotherham, where he made only two appearances.
Within a month, Waddock had departed Oxford without ever having the chance to field him for the club.
Yet the player he left behind has emerged as one of their season’s stars.
And tomorrow Hylton will line up against Pompey at Fratton Park seeking to add to his impressive goal tally.
Waddock said: ‘I know Danny having worked with him previously at Aldershot and knew what he could bring to the club.
‘He has matured as he has got older, his game understanding is better and I am delighted for him because he is a really nice guy and a player I signed for that football club.
‘He went to Rotherham and it didn’t work out, sometimes it happens.
‘As a player, coach or manager it fits at one place and then you move and then it doesn’t quite fit.
‘Credit to Danny, though, for taking the step to Oxford and producing the goods for them.
‘With the ongoing situation with the ownership change I wasn’t allowed to sign any players apart from him.
‘You will see his strengths tomorrow but he is a goalscorer, who gives 100 per cent every game and chases lost causes.
‘The best way to sum him up is a handful.
‘He played in a number of positions for me at Aldershot but was a younger player coming up so I was trying to help with his development at that stage.
‘He will make an okay pass a good pass, he is that type, you think you are in control of a situation and he will rush all over you.’
Nowadays led by Michael Appleton, Oxford are currently 17th in League Two.
There are others in their squad who also impress Waddock, having overseen them for eight matches last term. And he insists there is other quality besides the free-scoring Hylton.
Waddock added: ‘They have some very good players and Danny is one of them, I just hope he has a quiet game tomorrow!
‘There are others as well, Callum O’Dowda is a very, very good young player and I know the management team have brought some good players in also. They have a good squad there and they are building.’