The striker, who spent four years on City’s books before signing for Malaga permanently in Juy, worked under Pellegrini at the Liga club while on loan in 2012-13 and was full of praise for the Chilean's methods.
"[City] are obviously chasing the Champions League next and there are few managers in the market that can deliver that," Santa Cruz told Fox Sports Asia.
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"The way that he is as a person - relaxed and calm - will make players feel important and part of the City project."
The Paraguay international saw his career reignited while playing for Pellegrini at La Rosaleda and revealed he offered the manager some insight into life at the Etihad Stadium before he left.
"He did not ask for advice as such but we did speak about the dressing room," the 31-year-old added.
"He is one of those guys who really takes a lot of care when it comes to how healthy the dressing room is in terms of friendship and good guys. He was very interested in knowing how the guys are.
"He also had his fears - going into a league he did not know too well - but it won't be hard one bit for him because of the type of person he is."