Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted it would be very difficult for the club to replace captain Vincent Kompany, who will leave the reigning Premier League holders at the end of the season
The 33-year-old will part ways with the Citizens after 11 years of service to become player-manager at his boyhood club Anderlecht.
Signed from Hamburger SV back in 2008, the Belgian defender has gone on to establish himself as a leader of City’s most successful generation in history.
During his 11-year spell at the Etihad Stadium, Kompany has registered over 350 top-flight appearances for Manchester City, lifting 12 major trophies, with four of them coming this season under Pep Guardiola.
BREAKING: @ManCity confirm Vincent Kompany is to leave the club after 11 years and 360 appearances.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 19, 2019
Speaking of his captain’s imminent departure, the Spanish boss has hailed his importance to the club, comparing him with some of City’s most renowned players throughout history.
“When Vincent was fit, he took such an important role in our team – unfortunately sometimes that couldn’t happen – but whenever he played, he did so with pride, passion, and desire,” former Bayern Munich manager told Man City’s official website.
“This club is what it is because of some of our great former players like Mike Summerbee, Tony Book, Francis Lee, and Colin Bell but since Sheikh Mansour took over and Khaldoon became chairman, so came a new era of players who helped change this club’s destiny.
“Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, and David Silva – they are incredible players who helped this club take a huge step forward.
“Vincent helped this club achieve so much before I came and when I arrived here, we tried to do it together along with all the other people to try and maintain that position and create new history.”
Vincent Kompany helped change Man Citys destiny, says Pep Guardiola #epl: Pep Guardiola admits replacing Vincent Kompany will be "so difficult" after the Manchester City captain announced his departure on Sunday…. https://t.co/Wzecf7x9jX pic.twitter.com/Fofnv8mZYy— EPL Feeds (@eplfeeds) May 19, 2019
“It will be so difficult to replace Vinnie.
“Everyone is everyone and have their strengths, but Vincent is special. For all the times he gave a speech to the guys or spoke with passion about something, he believed in, his leaving will be a big loss.
“We will miss him. I will miss him a lot. Of course, I wish him the very best in the next stage of his life, but he is an incredible part of this football club and will remain so forever.”