David Silva’s announcement that he will leave Manchester City at the end of next season has sparked debate about where he ranks among the Premier League’s greatest foreign players.
Many fans and pundits think the Spanish playmaker is right up there with the very best - we’re talking the likes of Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eric Cantona.
The majority of football fans would probably agree. Silva has been magnificent for City over the past nine years, playing an instrumental role in the club’s four Premier League title wins.
talkSPORT ran a feature on the Premier League’s greatest foreign players and placed Silva in fifth place, only behind Ronaldo, Henry, Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp.
They then had Peter Schmeichel, Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Patrick Vieira completing the top 10.
- Silva to captain Man City next season
- Aguero to live in £4m apartment
- Man Utd to bid for £50m-rated McGinn
However, there was no place inside the top 20 for Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, who has divided opinion among football fans from the day he arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Real Madrid six years ago.
The German World Cup winner has produced many brilliant performances during his time in the Premier League - but also many shockers.
Many football fans think he’s a work-shy luxury player who is no longer one of the world’s best attacking midfielders.
But you’ll find just as many Arsenal fans ready to defend the 30-year-old.
In light of the Silva news, one Arsenal fan (@afczuV2) has done his homework and produced a fascinating Twitter thread which suggests Ozil should never be put below the City star.
First of all, a comparison of Ozil and Silva’s basic goals and assists stats.
Ozil’s 294 combined goals and assists in 498 matches (0.59 per game) is significantly better than Silva’s 268 combined goals and assists in 596 matches (0.45 per game) tally.
Counting their goals and assists since 2008/09, Ozil comes out on top in all but three seasons.
“One is an ‘inconsistent fraud’ and the other is ‘the best foreign player to ever play in the Premier League,” the Arsenal fan adds.
He adds that Silva is never criticised for being inconsistent, unlike Ozil, despite going five months without scoring last season.
We’re then presented with another statistical graphic which shows how closely matched Silva and Ozil were last season, despite the fact “Silva played for a generational team & Ozil played for a trophy-less team that finished 5th.”
Their career achievements are then put side-by-side…
Before we get into international football, where the Arsenal fan points out that Ozil has been a far more influential figure for Germany than Silva has been for Spain.
How do they compare in a ‘good’ rather than a ‘great’ team? In this case, Arsenal and Valencia.
Ozil has averaged 0.51 goals and assists with Arsenal in 231 games, while Silva managed 0.39 in 166 matches with Valencia.
And now the same again but with Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Again, it’s Ozil who comes out on top.
Silva edges it in terms of productivity against the top six.
But “what happens if we mix their time with superteams?” the Arsenal fan asks.
It’s another win for Ozil.
He also averages more goals and assists in the Champions League - 0.54 compared to Silva’s 0.40 - and holds the record for most chances created in a single game in the competition.
In conclusion: “In the end, we are dealing with 2 wonderful footballers.
“But as I've shown you today, it's clear to see that Mesut Ozil should never be put below David Silva.”
It certainly makes you think.
Have we all been a little unfair towards Ozil in recent years?News Now - Sport News