Jos Luhukay has hailed the leadership qualities of former Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens as the Owls prepare to face the Dutch defender's Sunderland side in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
Loovens, who made 150 appearances in Wednesday colours, left the Championship club at the end of last season after not being offered a new contract.
After weighing up his options, the 34-year-old joined the Black Cats on a free transfer last month. He signed a two-year contract and has featured in Sunderland's opening two fixtures.
Now the centre-half, who was frozen out by Luhukay, could line up against his former employers at the Stadium of Light tomorrow night.
"I had a fantastic relationship with Glenn in the five months that we worked together," he told The Star.
"He is a leader and in, this time that we live in, there aren't as many players like him.
"Of course, Glenn has had a long career and he will be 35 (soon) but his nature and personality is he is not alone on the field a leader but he is also a leader outside.
"When we were in a hotel or camp, he was always a professional. One hundred per cent.
"And also why I have respect for Glenn is in the time he didn't play play for us in the last two and a half months he was here, he was a full professional with his own performances.
"He trained an hour before and after training every day. He trained on free days so he was always trying to stay in good shape.
"It is why he maybe found a new challenge for himself.
"I think Sunderland are a club who won't stay long in League One. I think they also have the ambition to come back fast to the Championship.
"It is a very good challenge to help the club and maybe to come back in a short time to the Championship."
Asked if the Owls miss Loovens' influence, Luhukay replied: "It is maybe my experience in the last 10 years (I had) in Germany you don't really find these type of players.
"I spoke with my colleague at Aston Villa [Steve Bruce]. They had John Terry. He is not the same player as Glenn but they play in the same position and have had fantastic careers.
"These are players, and my colleague said it also, that John is a leader on the field but also in the cabin for maybe problems or to help young players in the team with all the experience he has.
"These type of players are maybe from old school - and when I say that I mean it in a positive way - and it is always a positive for a coach to have them."