Michael Dawson has been impressed with Sandro's form in the second half of the season.
The Brazilian midfielder has featured regularly since the turn of the year - starting 12 matches - really announcing his arrival with an outstanding performance alongside Wilson Palacios in February's 1-0 win at AC Milan in the Champions League.
He showed another string to his bow with a stunning goal at Chelsea.
“Sandro’s performances in the Champions League were great and he certainly makes our job a lot easier,” said skipper and central defender Michael.
“He sits just in front, wins balls, breaks play up, tracks players and we all know now he can score goals after that strike at the weekend. He’s a top, top player.
“He’s also a great lad to have in and around the club.
"He’s still learning English but he’s full part of the banter and everyone loves him in the changing room.”
Harry Redknapp agreed with Michael's assessment. "Sandro is emerging as a top player," he said after Tuesday night's defeat at City.
"He's come into the English game and his performance against City's strong midfield was excellent."