Gus Poyet told Goals on Sunday that Jose Mourinho will lift Chelsea to great heights during his second spell at the club.
The self-proclaimed 'Special One', 50, secured a return to Stamford Bridge - where he was in charge between June 2004 and October 2007 - earlier this summer after his three-season spell with Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid came to an end.
The Portuguese - who has propelled Porto and Inter Milan to the Champions League crown - guided Chelsea to back-to-back Premier League title triumphs, as well as to one FA Cup and two League Cups, during his maiden tenure in west London.
And former Blues midfielder Poyet says Mourinho can get his charges contesting at the very summit of the top flight again this season - if he adds one more player to his squad.
"I am quite confident that Mourinho is going to do very well, even though most of the people are wondering if he can be good second time [around]," said Poyet, who recently left his post as Brighton manager.
"He completely changed the club first time; Chelsea were good enough to win trophies but not the Premier League and he took them that step further and made them a force, and to win the title two years in a row was incredible.
"But his relationship with the players and the fans is going to make something special again and if he can get that one player he is looking for - whether it's [Wayne] Rooney or not - I think they are going to be fighting for the title."
Mourinho launched a bid for Manchester United star Rooney in mid-July but saw his offer rejected by The Red Devils, who have remained insistent that the 27-year-old will remain at Old Trafford.
Speculation that the ex-Everton striker could be on the move has not died down - but Poyet says that if Rooney does head for pastures new, the switch must benefit the player and England, not just United.
"If Rooney leaves Man United it may be perfection that he goes [abroad]," added the Uruguayan, who can count Tottenham, Real Zaragoza and French outfit Grenoble amongst his former clubs.
"But we are talking about one of the most important English players ahead of the next World Cup so you need Rooney happy as [if he is not] the national team will suffer."
Poyet was joined on the Goals on Sunday sofa by ex- Barnsley, Sheffield United, Bristol City, Hartlepool and Swindon manager Danny Wilson.
And the 53-year-old told Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara that he is anticipating a very open Premier League title race this term.
"I think it's going to be fascinating this season," he said. "Man City, who were by no means poor last year, have laid a marker down by spending so much money, while if Arsenal bring in people like [Luis] Suarez that will be a huge bonus for them.
"And then you have Chelsea and Tottenham - depending on what happens with [Gareth] Bale - so it should be really exciting and you can't say for definite who is going to win the Premier League, though I would lean towards City."
Click here to listen to Poyet discuss his acrimonious departure from Brighton.