David Silva has signed a new 5 year contract, to a back drop of universal joy among Manchester City fans, which will keep the Spanish star at the club until 2019. This could well be the most important signature of the Summer for a side which should be kicking on in style this season.
Silva is often the heart and soul of City’s most incisive attacking moves, and the style of football Manuel Pellegrini likes to play does not work in the same way without him. He has been improving every season over his four years at the club and he should now be approaching his prime
Silva plays football like he’s fencing. He turns and advances towards the opposition defence, looking for a potential weakness, and skips forward at it, testing them. If the defence is solid Silva dances back to start his next bout. He scans the defence again, moving side to side, to find another soft spot and then jab, jab, jab, whilst rarely getting caught out himself, a master of deception and feint. The backwards and forward probing continues until, finally, he cuts through the opponents’ defence and lays them bare before the onslaught of City’s strike force.
That’s the thing about him which unsettles defenders: They know that if they give him enough time, Silva will beat them at some point in the game.
However Silva is not just a miniature technical mastermind who sets up others. He also has an aggressive, destructive side and is willing to take games by the scruff of the neck and win them himself, such as away at Hull last season, or to stop a counter attack at conception with a well timed foul. He picks up more smart yellow cards than you might assume from looking at him.
In addition, Silva is a grown up. That may not sound like much, but it’s refreshing to know that he’ll never talk about ‘banter’ on twitter while wearing a Rio Ferdinand cap, camouflage his car, or refer to himself as ‘Hartdog’. Having an international star who won’t be in the papers for falling out of 42’s early on a Sunday morning is more valuable than it seems.
He is the best player I’ve ever seen in the sky blue of City, the brain of the team. Much like the brain, Silva does much more than go through the motions, he analyses and works out percentages on the fly, enabling him to, in the blink of an eye, play the through balls no one else can see. We are fortunate to be watching in a time when City can call upon a remarkable player as intricate and subtle as he is.
Here’s to the next five years.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter