The Spaniard has worked miracles at the DW Stadium since taking over the reigns in 2009, guiding them to Premier League safety in each of his seasons at the club so far.
And Whelan believes the 39-year-old is destined for great things in his managerial career as he prepares to take on Liverpool, a club he turned down the chance of managing in the summer.
Whelan told The Daily Mirror: “Roberto will be the manager of one of the top three clubs in Europe.
“I signed him from Spain along with Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz and he played for Wigan Athletic with the other two boys. The Three Amigos they were called.
“That changed our future because Wigan Athletic then became a team with people playing from Spain who played football back to front.”
And with Wigan currently sitting in 14th place in the top-flight, six points better off at this stage than last season, Whelan is hoping the Latics can achieve their first top-10 finish since their first season in the Premier League in 2005/06.
“We aim to finish in the top half of the league this season.”
Wigan visit Anfield this weekend with the aim of leapfrogging Liverpool, who are one place and one point above them in the table, before back-to-back home games against newly-promoted Reading and champions Manchester City.
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