In the summer of 2010, Manchester City signed a Spanish midfield player from Valencia for 25 million pounds. He was to be part of the new revolution that had been orchestrated by the Sheikh Mansour takeover of the club. Manchester City had for decades been under the shadow of the bitter rivals Manchester united sporting-wise and commercially.
While United could afford to sign players like Rio Ferdinand, Rooney, and Ruud van Nistelrooy for colossal sums of money, City watched jealousy as these players strengthened their rivals and won titles. Things changed at the turn of the decade as the takeover meant that City could go toe to toe with United in player signatures.
These players had varying degrees of success but when it comes to Silva, aguero, Kompany and Yaya Toure, there is no doubt about the impact they have had on the English game. Iconic skipper Vincent Kompany departed at the end of last season after giving everything to the club and winning the premier league four times. Yaya Toure also departed heroically after winning numerous titles at Manchester City and previous club Barcelona. Such titles included the UEFA Champions league, La Liga and the premier league.
Aguero looks set to continue for another couple of years at the Etihad and his impact can only be bigger. The Argentine has been a consistent goal scorer in Manchester and holds the record for most goals in Manchester City’s history with 254 goals in 368 appearances.
David Silva, is set to leave City at the end of this season after a decade of dedicated service. The Spaniard is a fan’s favorite and rightly so. In his decade-long career in England, the mercurial Spaniard has had the highest chance creation (745) of any player in the premier league while also recording the highest assists (83) during the same time.
His talent and skillsets have been used in a central attacking midfield, right and left wing role. Despite the multiple positions of, he has firmly remained a top performer.
Kevin De Bruyne once observed that David Silva rarely loses a ball in both training and competitive matches. Despite not being a very prolific scorer, El Mago has notched in 74 goals and 137 assists for City in 424 appearances, not a bad haul for a player who for the most part has carried the creative mantle for a team playing in the toughest league in the world. Silva’s chance creation has been so good that players such as Tevez, Aguero, Balotelli and Dzeko have all loved lining up next to the diminutive playmaker as their goal tallies have improved.
David Silva signed for City when under the tutelage of Roberto Mancini. The Spaniard has gone on to star for Manuel Pelegrini and Pep Guardiola. During the same time, El Mago has lined up for Luis Aragones, Del Bosque and Julen Lopetegui at national level. Across the various managerial changes, Silva’s importance has remained steady. Every single club and Spanish national team manager has found Silva’s talent worthy of a position in the first eleven. The Spaniard was regular in the world cup winning team and the double Euro winning team as well.
At club level, managers have rotated players in order to find the best fit for the City skipper. Players like Nasri have been moved wide, strikers like Dzeko dropped and midfielders like Nigel De Jong brought to the team in order to provide Silva with optimum performance conditions. In Guardiola’s City, the Spaniard has been deployed as one of the two attacking midfielders with Kevin De Bruyne. While their skillsets are different, they are largely complementary. For every ball Silva threads through, De Bruyne matches that with a pin point cross. It is this combination that yielded 100 points in the 2017-2018 season with well over 100 goals.
In the modern age, a decade long service is difficult to find in the football world. That is why players like Scholes, Giggs, Xavi, Iniesta, Totti, Terry, Puyol and Gerrard are heralded widely. Their ability and willingness to stick with a club through thick and thin is invaluable. While Silva isn’t born and bred in Manchester City, his dalliance with the club for ten years is a remarkable fit. Silva plays in a generation where the lure of money is too much to resist and this sums up his loyalty to the Manchester City course. The Spaniard has been mooted with moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid where many pundits argue he deserved to play but his unwavering commitment to City is something no money can ever repay.
At 34 years of age now and with Phil Foden showing glimpses of brilliance, the magician has decided to call an end to a glittering ten years at the Etihad glittered with 4 premier league titles, two FA Cups together with four league cups. Memories about Silva will go in tandem with the over 40 year wait for the first league title and its final attainment.
Manchester City’s history will be very kind to a player who left the comforts of his homeland, shunned interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid to make City a force to be reckoned with in England. It is comforting to know that Silva leaves behind a club in a healthy football and financial position as club captain knowing very well that maybe his bottomless pool of talent for the first time may not necessarily strengthen the team.
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukeSparrow3