Yaya Toure does not believe Manchester City's defeats have been due to his absence, stating David Silva is the Premier League's best player.
The Ivory Coast international has been at the Africa Cup of Nations following City's 3-0 Premier League success over Liverpool at the turn of the year.
Since the win Toure has missed City's exit from the FA Cup to Manchester United and their Carling Cup two-legged semi-final loss to Liverpool.
The former Barcelona midfielder did not feature in Tuesday's 1-0 defeat by Everton and he admits seeing his team-mates lose has been 'painful'.
However, he believes Roberto Mancini's men will thrive because of Spain international Silva, a player he thinks lifts the team above the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
"I've suffered watching the games on the TV and it's my natural instinct to help my team-mates," admitted Toure in the Daily Mirror.
"The defeats have been painful because I wanted to win three titles but I don't think it's because of my absence. I'm not indispensable.
"David Silva is the best player in the Premier League. Without doubt, he separates us from United and Chelsea.
"It's a pleasure to play with him because he's so impressive. Aguero is also a great player and it feels we are connected.
"I left Barcelona to improve as a player and I believe that I have fulfilled my challenge and I am very happy."