Trevor Francis believes Vincent Kompany looks reinvigorated in a Manchester City shirt following the departure of Roberto Mancini.
The Belgium defender reportedly fell out with the former City manager last season after he refused to pull out of an international call-up and was linked with a move to Barcelona before the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini.
But Sky Sports pundit Francis says Kompany looked sharp in City's Barclays Asia Trophy victory over Sunderland and says he should be back to his best for their opening Premier League clash with Newcastle on August 19.
He said: "I thought Kompany did well, but we know he's an outstanding defender. He's so comfortable in possession and brings an air of tranquillity to the players around him.
"I think there were periods last year when he lost his concentration a little bit and had one or two fall-outs with the manager, but he looks to be totally concentrated now and that's a big plus for Manchester City because they need him at his best.
"That's all forgotten now and he's got a new manager there in Pellegrini and it's a new opportunity for every player, but Kompany is the type of defender that every manager would like to have in his team."
City beat South China 1-0 in their opening game of the competition before beating fellow Premier League side Sunderland in the final.
However, Francis does not think Pellegrini will have learned much from the experience as both games were disrupted by the heavy Hong Kong rain, which made the playing surface almost impossible to play on at times.
"The players will be mightily relieved that they've got the job done," he added.
"When you're in a tough training schedule it's not enjoyable and you look forward to the games, but I can't think of too many players who actually enjoyed that. It was just 'get the job done and get out of it'.
"Man City have won the competition and I think their success has been built on a strong back four. If you think back to last season they had the best defensive record in the Premier League and they didn't look like conceding in either of the two games.
"Sunderland were always in the game because it was 1-0, but I think overall Man City were good value."