Having watched Bacuna emerge during his time as assistant manager before making the recent step-up to No.1 at Groningen, van de Looi knows his former star man is adaptable and is backing him to handle the new role.
"Leo is a talented player with a very good mentality," he told the Birmingham Mail.
"I think at this moment he's surprising everybody in England. On one side I suppose it is a bit of a surprise to me that he has started so well.
"He's just started in the Premier League and seems to have adjusted very well.
"Then, on the other side, I'm not surprised at all because he's never afraid to show what he is made of and he also seemed to play his best matches in Holland against the big teams."
For breaking stories and all the great banter like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tribalfootball