Even though everybody knew he was one of the most gifted playmakers in Europe, there were still a lot of doubters regarding David Silva's ability to make an impact and succeed at the English Premier League.
Now, 9 years later, the Spaniard is poised to make his 400th appearance for Manchester City, an accolade not even his current boss Pep Guardiola thought he'd accomplished.
That's why Guardiola was kind enough to acknowledge the fact that he was wrong about Silva during Manchester City's press conference ahead of their clash with Bournemouth:
"Yes, me included (thought Silva would struggle in the EPL). I think it's his character. It's not just his quality to move in small spaces, it's that he's a huge competitor. In the training sessions, the games, in the bad moments, how he reacts, he is a huge competitor. For his specific qualities to survive in the Premier League is not easy for a long time. And he did it.
He has to be so proud of himself and what he has done. He's a technical player - he's not a box-to-box - and my image of English football from the outside was that maybe he's going to falter. But I was happily, happily wrong," Guardiola told the media.
The Spaniard confessed to having asked around the league about Silva's character when he took charge of the team a couple of seasons ago, as he was having a lot of doubts about his ability to adjust to his system:
"That was my first impression, but from the beginning - it's not just that David played well this season - he was playing good with other managers, Roberto (Mancini), Manuel (Pellegrini), with us. After I spoke with managers he had in Spain, what everybody speaks, I realized what I realized here.
Everybody knows about his quality with the ball, but he's more than that. He's incredible. He is a competitor, a winner. Four Premier Leagues he won, and a lot of domestic prizes. This generation of players - like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero - helped to make this club in a better position in the Premier League and in European competition," Guardiola concluded.
Throughout his 9 year tenure with the Citizens, the former Valencia standout has scored 70 goals and handed out 130 assists in 395 appearances, winning 13 titles.