Pep Guardiola says he once thought David Silva might 'suffer' at Manchester City
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By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 23/08/19 2:59pm
Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on David Silva - but admits he is surprised the Manchester City legend has been such a success in the Premier League.
If the diminutive playmaker features for City away to Bournemouth on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, it will mark his 400th appearance for the club.
And although Guardiola hailed the achievement as 'incredible', he readily admits he thought Silva might struggle to make the grade in the Premier League when he arrived at the Etihad from Valencia back in 2010.
"When you think of those sorts of numbers, then you are talking about many years, many bad moments, many good moments, day-by-day, week by week," Guardiola said of 33-year-old Silva, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season.
"You can have a good season but almost 10 seasons, that is just incredible.
"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 I didn't think he would be as big a success, because he is a technical player.
"He's not box-to-box and my image of English football before I came here was that maybe he was going to suffer, but I'm happy that my first impression has been proved wrong."
'Silva is one of the best'
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.
"He's one of the most technically gifted and intelligent players to move and work in a small space, one of the best ever," Guardiola added.
"But he has more than just his quality with the ball. He is a competitor and a winner.
"He's a huge competitor and it's shown, to survive in the Premier League for such a long time.
"He's won four Premier League titles and so many domestic prizes as well. He should be proud with what he has done"