David Silva has been named as the new club captain of Premier League champions Manchester City.
Manager Pep Guardiola has announced the veteran Spanish playmaker, who is now in his final season at the club, came out top in a vote held by the squad.
The 33-year-old will take over from the long-serving Vincent Kompany, who left the club at the end of last season.
Silva had been the favourite after taking the armband for the majority of City’s pre-season games, as well as the Community Shield, but Guardiola wanted the whole squad to make a decision after returning to training.
Guardiola, who added that Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will also be part of a leadership group, said: “David Silva will be our captain. He’s been one decade here, he knows the club, he knows the Premier League. He has big respect from his mates.
“The decision taken was the best for the club. He will be a good captain.”
City learned this week that winger Leroy Sane had suffered a serious knee injury and will undergo surgery next week to repair a damaged anterior cruciate ligament.
Guardiola is expecting the German, who limped off against Liverpool at Wembley last Sunday, to miss most of the campaign.
He said: “Normally this kind of injury, ACL, is six or seven months. Hopefully in February or March he can come back with us.”
In more positive news for City this week, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has agreed a new four-year contract.
The 28-year-old’s previous deal was due to expire next summer and there had been speculation about his future.
Guardiola said: “I spoke with him once and said I’d be so delighted if he can stay because players like him are so difficult to find in Europe, in terms of personality and playing in different positions always in a high level.
“Thank you to him and the club for the effort to keep him with us for the next four years.”
Treble winners City begin their latest title defence at West Ham on Sunday.
Guardiola confirmed forward Riyad Mahrez is back in contention after missing the Community Shield due to concerns over medication he had taken while on international duty with Algeria.
The club were unsure what the substance was, which could therefore have created a problem if the player was drug tested, but the issue has now been resolved.
City also made a further foray into the transfer market this week to bring in right-back Joao Cancelo from Juventus, with Danilo moving the opposite way, but he will not challenge Kyle Walker for his place immediately.
Guardiola said: “Cancelo is not going to play yet. He only arrived two days ago, but he will settle good.
“He came and gave us something we didn’t have. His physicality is beyond normal.
“We wanted competition and I think for Kyle it’s important to have good competition, like he had with Danilo.
“Both have to fight for the position. It is good for the team. But right now Kyle is the first one.”
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