(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Kevin De Bruyne’s impact on the Premier League cannot be overstated after the Belgian playmaker was snubbed for the Football Writers’ Association’s (FWA) Footballer of the Year award.
De Bruyne, who has recorded 11 goals and 19 assists in the league this season, finished runner-up to Liverpool’s title winning captain Jordan Henderson in the annual FWA vote.
“I think (Kevin) speaks for himself what he gives to our team,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. “It’s not necessary to say how fantastic Kevin is. At the same time, congratulations to the captain at Liverpool.
“I would love for Kevin to score goals but he enjoys making assists too.
“The numbers are incredible, not just this season but also the year when we won the league with 100 points (in 2018). He was incredible and I will never forget how he played.”
Sunday’s home match against Norwich City will be David Silva’s final league game in a Manchester City shirt.
Guardiola described Silva’s 10-year spell at the Etihad Stadium as “extraordinary” after the influential Spanish midfielder helped the club win four league titles, two FA Cups and five League Cups.
“The amount of games, the huge quality in the games he played, the titles he helped win... he’s alongside five or six others who made this club what it is now,” Guardiola added.
“And this club will always be grateful.”
City have already secured a second-placed finish behind champions Liverpool in the league and hold a 2-1 advantage over Spanish champions Real Madrid heading into the second leg of the Champions League last 16 next month.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge