Former Blackburn Rovers striker Graham Fenton says Stoke City's James Beattie benefitted from leaving Ewood Park early in his career.
Fenton played with Beattie at Ewood Park.
"But in those days James wasn't as physical as he is now. He has really added a lot to his game," Fenton told the Lancashire Telegraph.
"James really wanted to play for Blackburn because I think it was his hometown club, but sometimes it is best for you to move away from your home town and experience different things.
"I found that when I moved to Aston Villa, and I think it was the same with him."