But, in the meantime, he expects the striker to score plenty of goals in his second spell at Tannadice this season.
Goodwillie rejoined United on an initial six-month loan deal earlier this month - two years after leaving for Blackburn in a transfer worth at least £2million.
He netted just five goals in two seasons with Rovers, who have had four managers since their relegation from the Premier League last year.
Asked if Goodwillie returns to Scotland with a point to prove, Houston - his boss at United previously - said: "The only reason he has a point to prove is because he wasn't picked in the position he was bought for.
"In the two years before he signed for Blackburn, he was scoring almost every week in the SPL. He was scoring different types of goals, he was working hard.
"He's always been a great trainer, he works really hard in games and he earned himself a move to Blackburn in the Premier League.
"However, at that time, they were a struggling side when he joined them and he never got the opportunity to start 10 games on the trot.
"If you are going to play one game and get dropped for the next game, you're never going to get a run of consistency.
"I don't think David has been given that opportunity as a centre-forward down in England by any manager who has looked after Blackburn Rovers.
"I think David, given the opportunity, could still play in England at a very high level in my opinion. But, for United in this period of six months, I'm sure he will score plenty of goals for them."
Houston - who was helping to conduct Friday's Scottish League Cup draw at Hampden - believes Goodwillie's return will provide United with a massive boost ahead of the new campaign.
He added: "It's a fantastic signing for United. That's the one thing United fans have been waiting for, something like that to happen, having lost some good players at the end of last season.
"I'm sure it's given everybody at United a boost - certainly the supporters who deserve it.
"The young players will learn a lot from him because I still think he's a top player who hasn't been given a proper opportunity in England."
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