Former Rooster Blake Ferguson has displayed eye-catching leadership both on and off the field since joining the Eels, according to fullback Bevan French.
Ferguson – who was forced out of training for a few weeks with a foot injury recently – joins the 2018 wooden spooners from last season's premiers, where he averaged a league-best 203 metres per week.
If he can maintain anything like that sort of effectiveness at Parramatta, he will help alleviate what was a significant lack of early set yardage for a club that ranked last for metres from the back three in 2018.
Ferguson, along with Junior Paulo and Shaun Lane, have provided the squad with a big boost already, according to French.
"Everyone's going into the year very confident," French told NRL.com.
"All three of them have made an impact so far. Junior and Laney bring a lot of knowledge and experience, they're punching the line pretty hard.
"Fergo especially, we've already seen the impact he can have coming into our team.
"They've all only been positive so far but the one that really stands out for me is Fergo, not just on the field but in meetings we have, what he has to say, he's been really good."
Ferguson's consistency was a key plank of the Roosters' charge to the 2018 Telstra Premiership win, topping the yardage among all players with 4862 metres in 24 regular-season games at 203 per week.
"He topped all the stats last year and his team ended up taking out the premiership," French continued.
"He's given us an insight into some of the things they've done at the Roosters, things we might not have thought about, looking at stuff from a different point of view.
"Every meeting he's got something to say and it's well taken in and on the field he definitely has some strong carries."
The Eels clearly missed 2017 star Semi Radradra last year, with a rotating cast of wingers and fullbacks combining for the fewest total metres of any club from the back three. If Ferguson can maintain anything like his 2018 form he could be exactly what the club needs to get sets started in a more dominant fashion.
French was a part of those backline struggles in 2018, but was playing injured for many of his 18 games.
He admits his attitude and response to adversity could have been better, which is something he has worked on over the off-season.
Fit again, he is hoping to stake his claim for the fullback jersey through the trials and Indigenous All Stars fixture.