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David Silva was the star again for Manchester City and will be missed
Spaniard provided two assists in Manchester City's 3-1 win
Last Updated: 26/08/19 8:26am
David Silva picked up the man of the match award for Manchester City after providing two assists in their 3-1 win over Bournemouth. Adam Bate looks at the numbers behind Silva's wonderful career at the club...
For reasons that were neither clear nor obvious David Silva was denied a penalty in Manchester City's 3-1 win over Bournemouth but it did not stop him having an influence on the game. Either side of the referee adjudging that Jefferson Lerma treading on his foot did not amount to a foul, Silva assisted a goal each for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero.
It was an appropriate way to mark his 400th appearance for the club.
The pass to Sterling was his trademark, breaking the lines of the Bournemouth defence. The dribble that preceded Aguero's second was a flashback, a reminder that as well as the cerebral vision in cutting opponents out of the game, Silva is capable of wandering beyond them himself. That second assist was the 85th of his Premier League career.
For context, that puts him seventh on the list and top among current Premier League players. Since Silva's debut in the competition nine years ago, no other player has managed more than 60 of them. There have been four Premier League titles in that time. Silva has been a constant in Manchester City's transformation into a super club.
The statistics really do set him apart. Look beyond assists to the number of chances created and he has provided more than 150 more of those than any other player since 2010. Big chances created? He is the only man with a ton of them. Second assists - the pass before the pass? He has provided more than 50 per cent more of those than anyone else too.
Silva has been the outstanding creative force of the decade.
"You can have a good season but almost 10 seasons, that is just incredible," says his coach Pep Guardiola. "For the fans, for me, it's a privilege what he has done for this club - players like him have helped this club establish themselves in the Premier League and in Europe."
"But I didn't think he would be as big a success, because he is a technical player. He's not box-to-box and my image of English football before I came here was that maybe he was going to suffer, but I'm happy that my first impression has been proved wrong."
Perhaps Silva was fortunate to arrive in England at a time when the game in this country was changing. But then, he did more to change it than most. His clever movement and even cleverer prompting with the ball at his feet showed that there was another way to play this game.
He adapted too. The little legs might not carry him across the turf quite so quickly as they did in his younger days but even at the age of 33 he covered more ground - 10.86 kilometres - than any of his Manchester City team-mates against Bournemouth. That work ethic, that desire to give his all for his side, has been a huge factor in his success too.
"He's one of the most technically gifted and intelligent players to move and work in a small space, one of the best ever," added Guardiola. "But he has more than just his quality with the ball. He is a competitor and a winner. He's a huge competitor and it's shown, to survive in the Premier League for such a long time. He should be proud with what he has done."
If Guardiola is prone to lapsing into the past tense it is a reflection not of Silva's waning influence - his man of the match award against Bournemouth shows that much - but of the fact that the midfield maestro has already revealed that this season will be his last with City.
It will be a loss for them, a loss for Guardiola and a loss for Aguero and the rest who are still reliant on his wonderful vision. But it is a loss too for the Premier League. Silva arrived in England as a World Cup winner but not as a superstar and he did not behave like one either. But he did play like one. He deserves to depart at the end of the season as a true legend.
"David Silva has to be close to being Manchester City's greatest ever player," former City player Andy Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports. "Over the last 10 Premier League seasons he has set the standard for creative midfielders. Intelligent, mobile, technically flawless, he is only 5'8" but his consistency and his ability cement him as a giant of the Premier League era."