Roy Hodgson has revealed that he tried to sign David Ngog during his time in charge of Fulham. The Frenchman has had the opportunity to start games in the absence of Fernando Torres this term and has netted four goals in just three outings.
But Hodgson insists he has always been an admirer of Ngog and doubts whether the 21-year-old's contributions were always recognised when the goals were not flying in so regularly.
"I wouldn't say he has surprised me. He is performing pretty much in the way I thought he could and should perform," the Reds manager said.
"In terms of judgement of front players, there's often a dual judgement - the judgement of the coach and the players who appreciate what he's doing, but if he's not scoring goals that won't be appreciated by other people such as fans and the mass media.
"So obviously I've always had some consideration for him."
Hodgson is refusing to set any goal targets for Ngog and has instead told the youngster just to build on what he has done so far and keep working hard.
"To get 20-25 goals a season you have to be playing in the region of 50-60 games," he said.
"In reality, I wouldn't want that at the moment because that would possibly mean Torres isn't playing a lot of games.
"I don't set targets for him in terms of number of goals, my target for him is to be good enough to play in the Liverpool first team so that if I decided just to play with one forward, he could do what he has been doing for us so far."