Jupp Heynckes says Hansi Flick is a "gem of a coach" and has urged his former club Bayern Munich to tie down their interim boss to a long-term deal.
Heynckes enjoyed four stints in charge of Bayern, overseeing back-to-back Bundesliga title wins in 1988/89 and 1989/90 - when Flick was a player at the club - before returning in an interim capacity towards the end of the 2008/09 season following Jürgen Klinsmann's dismissal.
After taking the job for a third time in summer 2011, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach and Germany striker mastermind Bayern's unprecedented league, UEFA Champions League treble in 2012/13, and was even coaxed out of retirement in October 2017 to steer the record champions to his fourth and final Bundesliga crown as a coach.
Watch: Relive Bayern Munich's historic treble win under Jupp Heynckes
Flick, initially brought in as Kovac's assistant over the summer, was handed the interim job, and won his first four competitive matches by an aggregate score of 16-0 prior to Bayern's 2-1 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Bundesliga Matchday 13.
Bayern CEO recently confirmed Germany coach Joachim Löw's former assistant will remain in charge until "at least" the winter break, but Heynckes believes the 54-year-old is the perfect long-term solution.
"Hansi Flick is predestined for the job as Bayern head coach, and is the ideal man for the position beyond the 2019/20 season," Heynckes wrote in his column for Germany's leading sports specialist magazine, kicker.
"Within a short time, he has made the team look completely different, playing attractive and team football. Bayern now have a great chance to have a coach, who can shape an era.
"He makes all of his players feel important, and I think the players are being completely honest with their assessments of him. Even superstars need a bit of love, and a coach needs high levels of empathy for that kid of thing - which Flick has in abundance. His not just the boss because of his position, but because of his personality, too. He is a gem of a coach. Such talent must be recognised and developed."
As Heynckes touched on, Flick has no shortage of admirers in the Bayern dressing room. Goalkeeper and captain, Manuel Neuer, has even likened his current mentor to the man who built one of the most successful teams in the club's history.
"Hansi Flick involves all his players, that's important," the 33-year-old said. "That's something Jupp Heynckes always used to do."
Top scorer Robert Lewandowski also sees the similarities with Don Jupp: "The atmosphere, the interaction, it's similar. The empathy he exudes speaks volumes. As players, we all feel that he is right behind us."
Flick takes charge of his sixth match as Bayern interim coach when the defending champions travel to current Bundesliga leaders Gladbach on Matchday 14, chasing a win that could close the gap to the summit to one point.
5 reasons to watch Der Klassiker
Dortmund take on Bayern in one of the must-see games in world football this Saturday...
5 reasons Frankfurt will beat Tottenham
No Götze? No problem for the reigning Europa League champions on Matchday 3 in Champions League Group D...
Fantasy Team of the Week: Matchday 8
Timo Werner, Jamal Musiala and Niclas Füllkrug were the standout performers in the Fantasy Team of the Week for Matchday 8.