The Frenchman, like Berbatov, had a reputation for being sulky and languid.
Blackburn chief Allardyce said: "Dimitar has a laid-back style and Nicolas always looked miserable. I had the same perception of Nicolas as everyone else but, after I met him, I realised that wasn't the case.
"When I was in charge of Anelka, I just said to him, 'You play the best way for us by using your strengths in this area and that area, so don't worry too much when we haven't got the ball. What you have to do is use that pace and ability when we have it'.
"You have to understand the intelligence of Berbatov.
"How he finds spaces in tight areas, how his touch very rarely deserts him and how he is actually quicker than he looks.
"Everyone has periods when they don't do it. And just because he hasn't scored doesn't mean he hasn't played well."