Martin Jol’s frustration at losing Pavel Pogrebnyak has been replaced by satisfaction that it led to Dimitar Berbatov joining Fulham.
Pogrebnyak scored six goals in 12 appearances during a highly successful four-month spell at Craven Cottage that ended in May.
When Reading – bankrolled by new Russian owner Anton Zingarevich – approached the free agent armed with a lucrative four-year contract, the 28-year-old rejected a permanent deal with Fulham.
In-demand former Manchester United striker Berbatov has since arrived in southwest London, however, and Jol believes the transfers have worked in his favour.
“I was bothered by Pavel leaving at the time but not any more,” he said.
“I liked Pavel very much and he liked the club as well, but he made a decision.
“Reading made a very good offer to him and he decided to go there.
“His ambition, like other professionals, is to do as well as possible and to earn as much as possible.
“It was not an easy decision for him, believe me, because I spoke to him a couple of times. But he made that choice.
“At that time I was very disappointed but later on I thought, ‘if Pavel would have stayed maybe Berbatov would not have been here’.
“In hindsight Pavel was a good transfer for us. I would never blame him. We had a few good conversations and he did it with pain in his heart.
“Overall I would like him to do well because he is a great player and a great person.
“He gave everything and he wanted to score, he was eager and it was one of the best transfers I have made in the last couple of seasons.”
Jol believes the presence of forward trio Berbatov, Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega ensures Fulham are better equipped in attack than at any other point over the last 10 years.
“We’ve bought Rodallega, Petric and Berbatov and are absolutely pleased with those three up front,” he said.
“We look better than ever before, I even think over the last decade.
“Rodallega was almost impossible for us to sign last year. We were interested but were told it was impossible. At the end of the season I got him.
“Petric was a star at Hamburg when I was there. His contract finished and he wanted to join the Premier League.
“And Berbatov was supposed to be impossible. I asked him to join after United gave us a real beating 5-0. He said no!
“He said if you were in the Champions League I’d think about it so I thought that it was impossible. But then it came off.
“Now all three are here I couldn’t ask for more.
“We needed them because Clint Dempsey was my top scorer while Mousa Dembele was probably my best player, and they both left.”