After 11 years at the club, Vincent Kompany has announced his departure from Manchester City. This came after he led them to a historic treble this season.
The Belgian is expected to take up a new position as player-manager at Anderlecht on a three-year contract.
Speaking on the development, Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, said the outgoing captain will be a big loss to the club – on and off the pitch.
The inspirational captain has lifted six of his 12 trophies at City under the management of Pep Guardiola in the last three years. Four of which came this season.
Guardiola said the impact of Kompany on City cannot be understated. He likened Kompany to some of the club’s greats throughout its long history.
Guardiola told City’s official website: “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.
Fan reaction: Man City fans are saying the same thing after being shocked by Vincent Kompany news.
“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 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”.
Reflecting on this season, where Kompany recovered from injury to start the final five games that saw them lift the Premier League and FA Cup, Guardiola added: “His spirit has been incredible; he was so important for us in the final weeks of this season. And against Leicester, he shot with a real desire to score that goal”.
Looking forward, Guardiola admitted Kompany’s will be hard boots to fill.
“It will be so difficult to replace Vinnie”, he explained.
“Everyone is everyone and has 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”.