Ilkay Gundogan sees plenty of similarities between Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp.
Germany international Gundogan worked with Klopp during his time at Borussia Dortmund, before teaming up with Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
Gundogan hailed the personal skills of both coaches, who were formerly in rival dugouts in the Bundesliga when Guardiola was in charge at Bayern Munich, as well as their ability to know when to lay down the law.
“I see a lot of similarities, to be honest, between both [coaches],” Gundogan told ESPN.
“Both have the ability to be a good friend to a player, with the way they speak to the players. They are both sympathetic.
“But they know the right moment when to be serious. For us players, that is a very important factor. Of course, what we do is what we love.
“We want to enjoy it, we want to have as much fun as possible, but we have to be serious and it is difficult to find the right balance. Both have that ability.”
Gundogan’s first season in the Premier League has been largely blighted by injury and is still recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in December.
However, he has seen been impressed from what he has seen thus far of Guardiola.
“For me, it starts with his aura. How he is coaching a team and how he presents himself, not just to the players, but to the public,” he added.
“Also, the way he speaks to us, how much he trusts us. He just tries to do the best for each player. I think for a manager that is the most difficult thing, to get all players, even the ones who do not play so much, to get to a good level.
“He knows how the players are thinking. He knows what we think, how we react. Obviously he has the ability to make everyone better. I have never seen a player who gets worse after [working under] Guardiola.”