Fulham manager Martin Jol praised the influence of Dimitar Berbatov after he scored two goals in the 3-0 win against West Brom.
The Dutch boss admitted that he had been concerned by the amount of quality he had lost in midfield in the wake of the high-profile departures of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele, as well as Danny Murphy.
Berbatov led from the front on his full debut, however, and Jol claims the Bulgarian striker can help create a new identity at the club.
"It was important because we lost our best players and our top goalscorer from the last couple of seasons, so we had to do something and create a new identity in midfield," the coach told reporters.
"My whole midfield was new, my front-line was new, [we played] a different system. I still feel we have to work hard to get the same quality as we had last year with Danny Murphy and Dembele. It was one of the best midfields in England."
Jol praised Berbatov for his all-round performance, noting that he contributed in more respects than simply as a goalscorer.
"I think he did more than he has ever done before in his life," Jol remarked. "He was at the back, he was in midfield, he was up-front and he scored a good goal so I was happy.
"We had a young bench and that is why I was so pleased with Dimitar."
Fulham lost last season's top scorer Dempsey to Tottenham in the final hours of the transfer window, and Jol believes the former Manchester United forward can fill the void left by the American in front of goal.
"That is a challenge for him," he added. "I think he scored 23 goals when I had him at Spurs. I'm sure that if he is fit then he will do what Clint Dempsey did for us."