Pep Guardiola admits he thought David Silva would suffer at Manchester City

Pep Guardiola

"We don't have two incredible players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi who score 50 or 60 goals a season but, despite that, we scored incredible amount of goals in the last two seasons".

Silva will leave City with an array of honours which already includes four league titles, four League Cups and two FA Cups.

"For the fans, for me, it's a privilege what he has done for this club - players like him have helped this club establish themselves in the Premier League and in Europe".

"But he's tiny, a little player, not a box-to-box player and my image of England from the outside, I thought "maybe he's going to suffer".

"He's one of the most incredible, intelligent players", Guardiola said. But I was happily, happily wrong.

It is fair to say the diminutive midfielder has defied the predictions of those who feared he was too small for English football, Guardiola included.

'I admire him a lot, ' Guardiola added.

Despite his own illustrious career both playing and managing at the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola believes Silva is one of the best he has ever worked with.

"All the period he was here he played good with all the managers, with Roberto [Mancini], with Manuel [Pellegrini] and with me and with us".

"But he has more than just his quality with the ball".

"He's a huge competitor and it's shown, to survive in the Premier League for such a long time".

That statistic aside, Guardiola was full of praise for Eddie Howe's side. Benjamin Mendy is training but not yet fit to feature, although new signing Joao Cancelo is an option at left-back. "He had cramp. It was a demanding game against Tottenham and hard against Liverpool (Community Shield), so he was exhausted", Guardiola said.

"The reason for (VAR) is to bring more justice, to be more fair and that is the only reason I like VAR", Guardiola said.

"I believe in the spirit, in the smell, in the way we played and I think we can do it".

"In the end it will be right".

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