Why David Silva is so important to Manchester City

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There have been several key components to Man City's impressive start to the season: new signing Raheem Sterling's impact, captain Vincent Kompany's return to form and key man Yaya Toure resurgence, to name a few. Yet it is the sparkling performances of David Silva that is currently the real catalyst to City's success.

Silva is a man who goes about his business in such an admirable manner. He does not like to hog the limelight on or off the field. While much of the attention at the Eitihad this season will be on how much Sterling lives up to his price tag and whether the 'spine' of previous title winning City teams can perform, there is little doubt that Silva will be at his best once again.

The Spaniard's man of the match performance at Goodison Park on Sunday was a prime example of how pivotal he is to the City cause. With runners off him, very few can be as influential as he is. The addition of Sterling may well play into Silva's hands perfectly. 


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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville knows only too well of Silva's influence. "He picked up the ball so much - he was connecting everything, like the glue that was holding everything together," he told The Gary Neville Podcast. 

"He was running the game. It was so difficult for McCarthy and Barry - they were being run all over the pitch by him. He's now got pace all around him with Raheem Sterling, Jesus Navas, Kolarov and Sergio Aguero."

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Silva's profound ability to keep the ball under pressure and pick a decisive pass at any moment is matched by very few in the country. The 29-year-old demonstrated his class against the Toffees as he touched the ball 96 times during the match - more than any other player. Silva was also unlucky not to score himself, hitting the post as well as testing Everton keeper Tim Howard on several other occasions.

Not only that, but the way Silva controlled the match, like so many other times previous, could have awed even the toughest of critics. The combination of the midfielder's graceful style and the amount of time he has on the ball gives the sense that an artist is at work. It was Silva's third man of the match performance in three games. 

It seems remarkable therefore, that during many a discussion on who is the Premier League's best player, Silva rarely gets a mention. Maybe now, fans will start to appreciate how simple the Spaniard makes the game look at such a high level.

Since 2011/12, Silva has the highest assist tally of anyone in the Premier League (42). Also, The former Valencia man already tops the assists chart for 2015/16 also (3). What's more, Silva has created 289 chances since 2012/13, underlining his reputation as one of the Europe's top creators.

His partnership with City talisman Sergio Aguero is already well documented, yet it's Silva's influence on City's left flank that has been the most pivotal link so far this season. The cohesion between Sterling and left-back Alexander Kolorov has allowed Silva to have a plethora of options when on the ball. It has suited his game down to a tee. 

"Last season, they didn't have that pace in the team - Aguero was on and off form, Sterling wasn't at the club, Navas was in and out of the team," said Neville, who continued his praise of the influential Silva.

"When you put all that pace back in, it makes Silva's job so much easier because he can just feed that pace. They've got a counter attack back in them, and I have to say David Silva is an outstanding player all the time. Not just this season, but he looks much better in that No10 role, more central."

With Manchester City and most notably Silva in such ominous form, opposing teams will certainly be doing their homework in figuring out how to stop the Blues' magician. It is perhaps surprising that we have not seen teams press Silva much more and therefore limiting his influence on the game. After all, the sequence is that if the Spaniard plays well, so do Manchester City. 

What seems even more puzzling, bearing in mind Silva's effect centrally, is why manager Manuel Pellegrini, in the past, has frequently played his main producer on the left and consequently reducing his impact on the game. It was a move that may have been a contributing factor in City relinquishing their Premier League crown last season. 

Now the move back to central attacking midfield is paying supreme dividends for both Silva his manager. Pellegrini, it seems, is giving license to Silva. “David can play where he wants," said the Mexican.

"He’s a good player. In the first season here, he played a lot of times on the left wing. Last season he also played behind the striker. It was the season he scored more goals in his career so he has different options. I always allow him his movement."

Now he is back in his more favoured central position, much will depend on Silva continuing his sublime form if City are to win the Premier League for the first time. He is the man that makes his team tick.

He may not grab all the headlines, but one thing is for sure: David Silva is a delight to watch.  

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Manchester City
David Silva
Premier League

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