Everton manager David Moyes admits he had striker Rickie Lambert under consideration for a move to Goodison Park before he joined Southampton.
The 30-year-old frontman has enjoyed a rags-to-riches career having been released by Blackpool almost 12 years ago and has played a key role in Saints' promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
"He caught my attention when he was at Bristol Rovers (between 2006 and 2009)," said Moyes. "Round that time we were looking around the leagues to see and we took Jermaine Beckford when Rickie was just about to go to Southampton."
He added: "We were well aware of him and his goalscoring and he had done great.
"It is great credit to the boys who come through the leagues - it shows a great deal of hunger and perseverance to get through to the top and he's done that."
Moyes is looking for a reaction from his players after an understrength side exited the Capital One Cup against Leeds in midweek.
And he has already brushed that result under the carpet, preferring instead to concentrate on the impressive start to the season the Toffees have made with 10 points from five matches which puts them in third place.
"Overall no-one can doubt the way the players have played and their attitude and performance has been fantastic and we've started well so we wanted to keep that going," he said.
The Everton boss also confirmed former Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, a free agent after leaving Wolfsburg last season, will continue to train with the club.
"It is going to be a while until we are able to make a decision," he said. "He is building his fitness and enjoying doing the football work and we will step his work up next week but there will be no quick decision on that."