Paddy Madden would still have been the bargain of the transfer window had he scored three rather than 13 goals according to Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson.
The Irish front man has proved a revelation since arriving as a virtual unknown from Carlisle United on loan last year.
Starved of opportunities in Cumbria, rapid striker Madden has soon showed the Brunton Park outfit what they were missing by helping fire the Glovers to the brink of npower League One’s play-off places.
His latest salvo earned Yeovil a 2-1 victory over top six rivals MK Dons at Huish Park on Tuesday night, taking his recent tally to six goals in three outings since making a temporary move permanent at the start of the month.
Whilst boss Johnson remains tightlipped on the exact fee paid for the 22-year-old, he admitted Madden would still have been a steal at a fraction of the price.
“If he had scored three goals up to now it would still have been a bargain, that’s how little we paid for Paddy,” said Johnson.
“He is great to have around and he is an infectious runner. If he keeps his temper at the right level it makes him very competitive.
“He’s just a great finisher and he is showing week-in, week-out he is a goal-scorer. If we can put the quality in he will make a difference.
“That was the player I was looking long and hard for and I am really pleased we have found him. You need a striker that is scoring goals because we have got players that can make goals.
“Ed Upson’s ball for the header (second goal) was a great ball so we have got a bit of quality and often the one that people don’t have is the one at the end of moves, finishing them off. But Paddy is your man.”
Madden - who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Glovers as soon as the current transfer window opened - netted either side of Antony Kay’s leveller on Tuesday.
The forward then featured in the game’s turning point, felled by an off-the-ball elbow from the Dons’ scorer, resulting in a straight red card from Mick Russell.
Johnson said he did not have a clear view of the incident, whereas his opposite number Karl Robinson branded Madden a cheat.
Robinson said: “The guy (Madden) has run at Antony Kay. He stopped a millimetre from his nose. Antony has put his hands up to protect his chest, and the guy has gone down holding his face. He cheated. It’s not nice to say.”
Johnson added: “It was right in front of me but honestly, and I know it was against our player, I wasn’t watching. The linesman wasn’t watching, he was watching the ball like I was.
“The fourth official helped make the decision so we couldn’t argue, shout or scream because we didn’t know what really happened.
“We did really well when they had the lad sent off because we played like 11 versus ten. We got our openings, we got back well and we did not lose concentration, which was important because it was a vital game.”