Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola hails Silva's City contribution

 

VAR fan: Pep Guardiola
VAR fan: Pep Guardiola

By Ian Parker

Pep Guardiola did not expect David Silva to cut it in the Premier League when he joined Manchester City from Valencia in 2010.

The 33-year-old, who could be in line to make his 400th City appearance at Bournemouth tomorrow, has gone on to win four league titles, two FA Cups and four League Cup crowns in a glittering career in Manchester and has been given the honour of the captaincy in what will be his final season for the club.

"He's a tiny little player. My image of English football when I was outside, I thought, 'Maybe he's going to suffer', but I was happily, happily wrong," Guardiola said.

Guardiola gave nothing away in terms of whether Silva is likely to start tomorrow against Bournemouth, a team City have won all eight league fixtures against by a margin of 25-3.

Guardiola said the game would come too soon for injured England defender John Stones, but Oleksandr Zinchenko is fit following a cramp. Benjamin Mendy is training but not yet fit to feature, although new signing Joao Cancelo is an option at left-back.

Guardiola said the only disappointment of the season so far was the fact his side do not have six points, having seen a late winner against Tottenham last weekend ruled out by VAR.

City have been at the centre of several high-profile VAR decisions already following their 5-0 win at West Ham on the opening weekend, but Guardiola remains a VAR fan.

Guardiola added: "In the end it will be right.

"From the beginning I supported this technology."

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