Pep Guardiola believes English football will benefit enormously from the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League next season.

Bielsa, the veteran former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach, last week led Leeds back to the top flight after a 16-year absence.

Manchester City manager Guardiola has often spoken glowingly of the 64-year-old Argentinian, whom he has admired for many years.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said: "I was not his player, so it's difficult for me to talk about him, but I know the reference and influence for one thousand million players that were with him and their opinion.

"I was lucky to sometimes have the opportunity to talk with him, to see him. For world football, with his ethics, behaviour, the special way he plays - he is an authentic manager. No other manager can play the way he plays.

"His product is always incredibly personal. No-one can imitate him. That makes him so special.

"It's my personal opinion that for English football it will be incredible for him to be in the Premier League next season, and to learn from him and his teams the the way he plays."

Despite being widely admired in the game, Bielsa has not been a serial winner of silverware.

Guardiola, who has won 29 major trophies in his career,  insists that does not matter.

He said: "The knowledge you have as a manager does not depend on the results you have.

"The media and others judge on the results but the players judge managers through the knowledge they have.

"There are no doubts about the quality of this manager, Marcelo Bielsa and his knowledge, through the comments of the players that were with him."

Nigel Pearson

Guardiola also paid tribute to Nigel Pearson, who was sacked as Watford manager over the weekend despite the club being within touching distance of Premier League survival. City face the Hornets at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.

Guardiola said: "Before the lockdown, what Nigel had done was incredible - the amount of points and the results they got, when they were on the bottom.

"After that I don't know what happened. I wish Nigel all the best. He's an experienced manager in England, he has done incredibly well in the past and he's done well at Watford."

With second place guaranteed, there is nothing riding on the game for City, who thrashed Watford 8-0 last September.

Guardiola said: "That was one century ago. It's impossible to replicate this.

"There is not even one reference to that game. The manager was different. In that moment we were playing to win the Premier League, now we are done. They are playing to survive."

City, who lost an FA Cup semi-final to Arsenal at the weekend, wrap up their Premier League campaign at home to relegated Norwich on Sunday and then will step up preparations for their Champions League clash with Real Madrid on 7 August.

Guardiola said: "We will have two days off after the game against Watford, but after that we'll make two weeks of training sessions."

Interim head coach Hayden Mullins has called on Watford's players to be "professional" during the last two Premier League matches.

The 41-year-old under-23s boss has stepped up to replace Pearson and his first task is the visit of City.

Mullins said: "One of the things we have had to deal with in the last couple of days is the manager leaving. However that has come about is something we can't let dissuade us from our focus.

"Our focus are the last two games. We know the manager was a big part of it, but the club have made a decision and us, the players and staff have to be professional enough to focus on the next two games."

Mullins enjoyed his time with Pearson and learned a lot, but has not thought about his long-term future ahead of clashes with City and Arsenal this week.

He added: "I think I said before in December when I had the caretaker role I work for the club, and at the moment I recognise where we are and what the situation is and what we need and how we need to focus.

"That is my focus at the moment. My focus is on Tuesday and preparing for the game and anything more long term I have not thought of."

On Pearson, the Watford interim head coach said: "I really enjoyed the time we spent together. It was a good experience for myself."