Back in the summer of 2010, Manchester City fans still getting used to seeing the upturn in the quality of players dawning the sky blue of City came the announcement of a signing of David Silva. A short, silky-haired, player from Valencia, seemingly cut from the same cloth as the likes of Iniesta and Xavi were. The Premier League didn't have too many short skilful players, it was more of a war zone for 6'4" strikers getting onto the end of long balls punted forward by the keeper. No one expected him to be able to handle the physicality of England or adjust to the weather. 9 trophies later, he is as Mancunian as a Spaniard could ever get.
A typically shy person, not one to do too many press conferences, interviews or commercials. A man who still just wants to get on with the game and do what he loves the most. You won't see YouTube montages of the screamers he's scored, or when he did some fancy moves to get past his marker. You will have to see him week in and week out to see his influence on the field. Not the fastest or strongest on the field, he glides over the field in a way English football was not accustomed to.
Ever since he stepped through the doors of the Etihad, he had an added sense of class to his play. A small drop of the shoulder here, a little turn there was all it took him to get around much more physically gifted opposition players. From scoring his first goal in the Premier League, the winner against Blackpool back in 2010 to scoring his 50th against Fulham in 2018, Silva will go down as one of City's greatest in the modern era.
The question he mains to be, if he has achieved so much, why is he still so underrated?
A humble player who does the basics better than anyone in England. Consistently doing his job, taking up positions, providing, creating, essentially knitting the team together. He never had a 20 assist season, doesn't produce too many 'wow' moments, but keeps the team ticking every time he steps onto the field.
Starting off as a winger under Mancini to drifting infield and playing as a central midfielder under Pep Guardiola, over his eight-year stint in the blue half on Manchester he has displayed just how much more skill matters over straight up brawn.
In a way, Silva has guided the club to where it is today. From the times when the team traveled to face minnows in small eastern European countries to make it to the Champions League semifinals. A guiding light as the Sheikhs looked to establish the side among Europe's finest.
Silva is a player who didn't really have a position, he was just there at the right place at the right time. Out on the wings, moving the ball through the middle of the park to picking up possession from the defenders and starting moves, he did it all. Maybe that's what kept him from being named among the best ever in the PL.
Never named among the best wingers or midfielders, Silva was one of those who slipped through the cracks. Consistently doing the little things that allow others like Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling to express themselves.
Since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, things seem to be changing for the bald-headed genius. Silva is a very Pep kind of player. Silva took the center stage lasts season as City romped to the title securing a staggering 100 points.
This was probably the first time people started taking notice of the genius, that is David Silva. Pep gave him more freedom going forward and the Spaniard ended the season with a goal involvement of 20, a career high. With the shackles off, Silva is now playing much closer to the goal.
Last season was particularly painful for Silva as his son was very prematurely and had to be admitted in the hospital for almost six months. Flying back and forth, being there for his family as well as being professional and playing whenever possible. After months of back and forth traveling, Silva missed the trophy celebration to get his son home. In August this year, Silva brought his son, Matteo as the mascot to present him to the City fans. He received a rapturous ovation as the Mancunians rallied on their hero.
City fans and Silva have a special bond. Always having his back, through thick and thin, showing him all the love he'd ever need. Making over 350 appearances for the club, a definite fan favorite on these shores.
Maybe it's just a matter of perception. If you look back at the careers of legends like Gerrard or Lampard or Rooney, you remember the moments where they scored phenomenal goals, long range, acrobatic or even headers, they have moments that no one will forget. Silva unlike them is a not really one who wants the limelight, instead, he goes about his business and often going under the radar because of just how consistently good he is. Things that would make people go in awe if other players did, is almost expected of this man.
A truly great player, a true gentleman of the game. A blessing to the Premier League.Published 28 Oct 2018, 09:01 IST