Pardew admits Di Canio was a player he would love to have had the chance to manage.
The former West Ham United boss, 51, said: "We have a mutual bond in that we were both employed at West Ham.
"I just missed him there but he was spoken about very highly by my staff when I arrived.
"I admired him as a footballer and always loved that type of player.
"I think the only other player in that era like him was Eric Cantona, who Alex Ferguson said changed the mood of the British players.
"Paolo did that at Celtic and West Ham - and he will take it into his managerial career."