Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock says there is not another defender in the Championship he would have in his side in place of Sol Bamba.
The 31-year-old centre-half became one of Warnock’s first signings when the free agent joined the club in October.
As well as defending, Bamba grabbed a vital goal on his debut against Bristol City.
“I wouldn’t want anyone else. I don’t think there’s anyone better,” said Warnock.
“Like top players, he’s got all the attributes. Fortunately for us, we’ve got him at the right time. For me anyway I’m quite happy.”
Warnock believes the Ivory Coast international has not quite reached his full potential in his career.
The towering defender began his career in France at Paris Saint-Germain, but made just a couple of appearances before a dispute led to him leaving in 2006.
Bamba initially made his name in the Scottish Premier League, first with Dunfermline and then Hibernian before joining Leicester and having spells in Turkey with Trabzonspor and in Italy at Palermo.
He retuned to the UK in January 2015 with Leeds United and, although skipper at Elland Road, he was released following the summer transfer window and snapped up by Warnock.
Despite 44 international caps for the Ivory Coast, Warnock believes Bamba’s career has in many ways been one of underachievement.
“He’s a good lad, but should be playing at the top level really,” Warnock added.
“I wouldn’t say he’s wasted his career, but he’s been allowed to get away with things that he shouldn’t be allowed to.”
Following their defeat at Aston Villa and Wigan’s win at Huddersfield, the Bluebirds have slipped to just one place off the bottom of the Championship.
Warnock and his men face another tough challenge on Saturday when second-place Brighton are the visitors to the Cardiff City Stadium.