The 34-year-old will leave after a successful decade in the Premier League and his coach knows they will struggle to find another player like him
Manchester City will have great difficulty finding a replacement for David Silva, admits Pep Guardiola.
The 34-year-old midfielder will leave the Etihad after their season is over, having spent 10 trophy-laden years with the club.
Guardiola hailed the four-time Premier League winner as a unique player and admitted it will be tough to find someone who shares his ability and competitiveness.
“Signing anybody with his way of playing and his quality is very difficult, especially replacing his competitiveness, not only his quality,” Guardiola told DAZN. “His quality is unique and special, his ability to move in confined spaces. What has surprised me the most knowing him in these four years together is his immense competitiveness when he plays.”
Guardiola’s team surrendered their Premier League crown to Liverpool this season, having finished 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, they still have the chance of winning a historic first Champions League title.
City’s campaign resumes on August 7 when they face Real Madrid in the second leg of the last-16, having won 2-1 when they met in the Spanish capital before the coronavirus pandemic brought football to a halt, but Guardiola is taking nothing for granted.
“We should not think too much about the advantage we have,” he said of his side’s chances against Zinedine Zidane’s team. “We know what an advantage it is. If there is a team that can turn it around, it is these great teams, as well as Barcelona or Bayern. They know these competitions and they know how to play them.”
He added: “We are not going to make a tactical change or anything to surprise Real Madrid because they know what we do.
“The only objective that I have in the coming weeks is that the players come to the pitch to play football, without our people, to defend when they have to defend, to jump, to run, to encourage each other. Things are more simple. A team only has to have this. This is that I want to my team have.”
Speaking about what it would mean to finally win the Champions League with City, Guardiola said: “I don’t know what I’m going to feel when it hasn’t happened yet. I tried it the first year, in the second, in the third and in the fourth. If I am involved in it, I’m trying to win it. If I don’t win it, I will have failed but the important thing is to try.
“I’ve won it because I’ve had incredible clubs and incredible players, and I want to keep winning.”