Today we look at a player who has thrilled the Premier League for the past ten years and has been one of the best foreign imports in the Premier League history – Manchester City midfielder, David Silva.
Where it all Began for David Silva
David Silva was born in the fishing village of Arguineguín in Gran Canaria. His first team was his local side UD San Fernando. After five years and playing in a variety of positions, from striker to goalkeeper, the young Silva struck gold and moved to his now known attacking midfield position. It was a switch which would change his life.
Breakthrough Move to Valencia
At the age of 14, his talents became apparent and Valencia came calling. Silva would spend three years in the youth ranks before making the step up to the main youth academy side.
After a first season in the youth team, Silva went out on loan for two productive seasons. The north of Spain and Basque outfit Eibar was his first point of call. There he played in the Second Division and after a successful period, he followed that with a season with Celta Vigo in La Liga.
After scoring four goals in each of these seasons, he rapidly improved and matured on the field. Silva was ready to return to the first-team fold at Valencia.
What followed was the becoming of David Silva. A highly successful four-year-spell which would enhance his star billing further. In 2006 he made his debut for the Spanish national team against Romania. Also, just two years later, he lifted the first trophy of his career with the Copa del Rey as Valencia defeated Getafe in the final. In his final season in 2010, he would score a career-best eight goals in La Liga. This helped Valencia finish 3rd and return to the Champions League. All of this playing in a star-studded side which included fellow Spanish international attackers Vicente, Joaquín, Juan Mata and David Villa.
A Silva Decade of Delight In Manchester
The new decade brought a new challenge as Manchester City persuaded Valencia to part with their starlet. His price tag was £21 million pounds and arguably represented the best piece of business the club had done in its history.
Silva joined the Citizens at a time where the club were in its early developmental years, in terms of new ownership. However, the player himself was already the polished performer. Also, he was one of the original pillars of this new giga-club that Manchester City now are worldwide.
Yet there were initial doubts about his compatibility in English football. For a player so small and diminutive, there were arguments he wouldn’t be able to adapt to the rigours of the tough and no-nonsense, up-and-at-them Premier League.
How wrong those statements would prove to be. His drive and fierce competitive style surprised many as he would instantly hit the ground running and became a key player from the outset.
An Inspirational Idol
His class and elegance instantly wowed fans up and down the country. His stylish nature was reflective of his idol as a child – the great Michael Laudrup. Those slalom runs gliding along the pitch like an ice skater. In addition, his pinpoint cutting edge passes, dribbling ability and vision were what Silva modelled himself on the great Dane.
Onwards and Upwards
He was handed the number 21 shirt, which he also wore at Valencia. He scored his first goal against Blackpool shortly into his career in England.
That first season, Silva scored four goals. And most notably, he achieved his best season in his entire career for assists with seven.
From then on, his career only went one way: up. He flourished year on year becoming an integral player of the team. His ability and likeable nature earned him respect by his teammates, supporters and rival opponents. Known as ‘El Mago’ he really has performed some magic tricks throughout his career.
City Slicker Silva
In total, he has amassed 301 games in the Premier League and has scored 57 goals with 103 assists. Yet, his best scoring season was 2014/15 when he entered double figures for the first and only time in his career when he scored 12 goals.
Fighting Through Hardship
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though as last season he took time off to be with his poorly new-born son who had been born prematurely after 25 weeks. The club and manager Pep Guardiola gave the player all the time off he needed to tend to the more important matter of his life.
Thankfully his son, Mateo, made a full recovery. So Silva joined up once again with his team to do what he does best; consistently performing at the highest level. Every cloud has a silver lining.
Throughout his decade of delight at City, he has won every domestic honour possible. He has lifted four Premier League titles to cement himself into the folklore of Manchester City history. Also, he has been integral to shift the power from the red half of the city to the blue.
In addition to four Premier League titles, Silva has also won two FA Cups and five League Cups during his time at City.
He has been highly successful in his international career too – a World Cup winner ten years ago this summer as part of the record three titles in a row with Spain adding to the European Championship successes in 2008 and 2012. His 125 caps and 37 goals meant Silva played a huge role in Spain’s golden generation.
A Fond Farewell and Next Move
After a decade of unparalleled triumphs, David Silva will be leaving Manchester City this summer for pastures new. With his contract up and seeking a fresh challenge, speculation links him with various clubs including former stomping ground Valencia and David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
For the moment, Silva is currently in talks with City chiefs to extend his contract short-term to see out the season at the Etihad due to the pandemic crisis.
However, it is a shame there won’t be supporters present in the stadium to give him the fitting finale he deserves. But fans up and down the country will acknowledge they have witnessed a true Premier League great.