Everton boss David Moyes said he has been delighted to see Jose Baxter excel for Oldham Athletic this season.
Moyes wanted to keep the attacking midfielder at Everton when his contract expired in the summer but Baxter decided to leave in search of regular football.
The former Blues Academy graduate was signed initially on a short term deal by the Latics back in September but after bagging 11 goals, including one on his debut, he penned a new two-and-a-half year contract last month.
Moyes admits he has been quietly pleased to see his former charge's progress.
"I am delighted for Jose because we offered him a contract here, he could have stayed but he chose to go," he said.
"He is a really good lad and the boy wanted to play. He had been out on loan and he was finding it a struggle because he had got into the first team very early.
"What he did need to do was go and play and I admire him for that because there are a lot of players who don't chose to do that."
Baxter was without a club for a while after exiting Goodison but his bold move now seems to be paying off as he catches the eye for the League One strugglers.
"I think there are a lot of players who don't make the decision to go and play and just sit and hang around," added Moyes. "It was a brave decision for Jose but hopefully he sees it as the right one for him.
"I like him, he was a good player and I liked having him around the Club.
"He is technically a very good player and I watched him play for Oldham last week and he played very well. He has certainly got the ability and a very good football brain. He is a gifted and talented football player.
"Jose will have a good long career - I have no doubts about that."