Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton revealed he had no knowledge of Mat Ryan's ability until he joined the club at the start of the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The Socceroos goalkeeper joined the Seagulls on a five-year deal after a frustrating spell with La Liga giants Valencia, and has since established himself as a fan favouite at the Amex.
"I’ve got to credit my goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts with signing him," Hughton told the Daily Mail.
“Because he went to Valencia to watch him and kept on at me that he was top quality.
"Ben went to see him play, watched hours of video, and insisted he was a player of the right age with the right ability and attitude for us."
Ryan's move to the Premier League reached career-best heights on Sunday (AEDT) after the 25-year-old saved a Charlie Adam penalty in the 90th minute to earn his side a deserved point against Stoke City.
With eight clean sheets from 27 league games, the former Central Coast Mariners shot-stopper has earned nothing but praise from his manager.
"He’s a really enthusiastic player, he’s different, we know he is not as big as some keepers but he is very athletic and really hungry to do well," Hughton said.
Brighton, 14th on the Premier League ladder, will next face Coventry City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday (AEDT).