Patrick Kisnorbo has the prowess to become the next Australian coach to test himself overseas, according to his one-time mentor Erick Mombaerts.
The urbane Frenchmen schooled former Leicester and Leeds United defender Kisnorbo in the finer points of the coaching craft as Melbourne City reached the 2019-2020 A-League grand final for the first time.
When Mombaerts returned home, Kisnorbo, 40, put into practice his acquired knowledge to guide City a Premiership-championship double in his maiden season as the main man.
It was Mombaerts, 66, who cajoled the City Football Group into anointing Kisnorbo as his successor as a parting gift to his wily apprentice.
And the pair remain in touch through weekly WhatsApp chats, Mombaerts - now in an academy role with CFG owned Ligue 1 Troyes - offering sage tactical and technical advice to Kisnorbo as his influence pervades from afar.
He speculates that one day they be united again in Europe, where he claims Kisnorbo would not be out of place as his coaching journey evolves.
“He has the level to coach in Europe … he knows everything about tactics and is a strong enough character,” Mombaerts told FTBL.
“He’s also building up valuable experience but I don’t know his feeling about this (in terms of one day pursuing offshore options).
“He is working in an excellent environment at Melbourne City, and can continue to develop his skills there.
“It’s very important for a young coach to gain confidence and increase his knowledge.
“But why not look to Europe in the future.”
Enlarging on his ongoing influence on the man he simply calls “PK”, Mombaerts added: “We chat weekly - he sends me video clips and things like that and I offer any advice I can.
“Sometimes he wants me to assess particular things but it’s more about keeping our friendly relationship going.
The Mombaerts-Kisnorbo collaboration produced a number City landmarks: a highest-ever points tally of 47, a best-ever finish of second on the A-League table, and a maiden Grand Final appearance.
Kisnorbo was promoted to the top job in the aftermath of City's 1-0 grand final defeat to Sydney FC - and he hasn't looked back.
“It was fantastic working with PK,” added Mombaerts. “We share a similar philosophy and I was initially surprised at the depth of his knowledge about City’s style of play. We were together very strong.
“We improved the squad a lot and when I left he continued in a great way. I expect him to do very well again this season (which kicks off on Friday night with the visit of Brisbane Roar to AAMI Park).
“I knew he was ready for the job when I left and I haven’t been surprised by his success.
“I pushed City Group to give him the job because I thought he was well prepared.
“Who knows what can happen in the future - maybe one day we can work together again and have another experience.”