Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Steve Bruce's talent for discovering hidden gems.
The Manchester United manager comes up against his former skipper at Old Trafford as Sunderland look to knock the Barclays Premier League leaders off their perch.
"All the signs are good for Steve," said the United chief. "He is doing most things right and his buys are good."
He added: "At Wigan he plucked a few from nowhere like Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios. Now he's bought another three to Sunderland who no-one knew about - John Mensah, Paulo Da Silva and Lorik Cana.
"He has obviously got a good scouting network in areas where maybe the bigger clubs don't look and he is getting good rewards."
Indeed, Ferguson thinks the work Bruce is doing at the Stadium of Light earmarks him as one of the most promising of the present breed of managers.
"If you look at Steve's career, it is exactly what you need," said the United boss.
"He has experienced the other side. He has scrapped at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United and Wigan and the job when he went back there was fantastic.
"He didn't have much money at Birmingham and that is not easy in the Premier League.
"But he has learned as he has gone along. Now he has the chance to spend some money and it looks very good because Sunderland could be a massive club."
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