Sunderland defender Jan Kirchhoff has backed Pep Guardiola to revolutionise Manchester City and win the Premier League “without any trouble”.
The Bayern Munich boss will succeed Manuel Pellegrini at the end of the season once his contract with the Bundesliga champions expires.
Kirchhoff, who left Bayern for Sunderland in January, has backed his old boss to transform English football for the better and deliver unprecedented success to City.
“Pep Guardiola’s going to win this league and change this league like you’ve never seen before,” he told The Guardian.
“I’m totally sure. He’s going to build one of the greatest teams at Manchester City and win the league without any trouble.
“You’re going to see a totally different way of playing. It’s one of the best situations English football’s going to have for a long, long time.”
Kirchhoff credits Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014 to Guardiola’s influence and believes his impact could turn England into a major force in international football again.
“We had a lot of young, talented, home-grown players getting into our best teams – and these teams had really good coaches: Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund and Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich. And the national team exploded,” he said.
“I don’t think we won the World Cup because of our unbelievable national head coach [Joachim Low]. I think we won it because of Guardiola and Klopp. It was because these talented players were taking all the football knowledge they’d learnt from their club coaches into the national team.
“If Guardiola has a lot of English players they’ll improve and make the England team better. It’s the same with another coach I really like: Mauricio Pochettino. You can already see the influence of Pochettino’s Tottenham on England.”
Kirchhoff is embroiled in a relegation battle with Sunderland but he insists that giving up the chance for trophies and Champions League football was the right decision.
“I think it’s the best move I’ve ever made,” he added. “We’re always searching for happiness – and I’m really happy here. Football’s about more than just being successful.”