EPL

David Silva and his sensational Man City legacy ahead of 400th appearance

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

David Silva could become the 14th player to make 400 competitive appearances for Manchester City when the Premier League champions visit Bournemouth on Sunday.

The last player to reach the milestone in the blue half of Manchester was former captain Paul Power, who spent 11 years at Maine Road but did not win a trophy during his time at the club.

Times have changed and Silva, who has confirmed this will be his final season with City, now skippers the most dominant team in English football.

Opta data shows the classy 33-year-old has been at the forefront of the club's transformation from noisy neighbours to Premier League powerhouses.

 

MOVING ON UP

Silva could conceivably bow out next year ranked as high as eighth on City's list of all-time appearance makers, albeit that would require him to likely be an ever-present in Pep Guardiola’s teams in the 2019-20 season.

The renowned Mike Summerbee occupies that spot with 452 games to his credit, meaning Silva would have to even surpass the 50 outings he managed last term.

Separating the pair are Sam Cowan (407), Ernie Toseland (411), Neil Young (415), Willie Donachie (436) and ninth-placed Power (445).

Silva has never made more appearances in a single season for City than the 53 tallied after joining from Valencia, although he did register more minutes (3,880) the following campaign.

It was then, in that historic 2011-12 campaign, that a future favourite really came to the fore.

 

BRAINS BEHIND THE BREAKTHROUGH

"I am so pleased he is coming to us because I think he can make a big, big impact for Manchester City," said then-manager Roberto Mancini upon securing Silva's signature in 2010.

The Italian's words were prophetic.

After a third-place finish in his first season at the Etihad Stadium, midfielder Silva and a core cast of stars including Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany spurred an expensively assembled squad to the success expected of them.

Silva was pivotal in helping make the dream of a first Premier League title become a reality.

His contribution across all competitions amounted to eight goals, 19 assists and landmark victory after landmark victory during his 49 appearances.

It remains the 125-cap international's finest season for the club in terms of goal involvements, even accounting for the unparalleled excellence of the Guardiola era.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE'S SUPREME PROVIDER

Silva has added three more Premier League titles to his City legacy since pipping Manchester United in dramatic circumstances seven years ago.

Trophies aside, a man described by Guardiola as a "European great" will be remembered at City as much for his artistry on the ball and his ability to help get the best out of his team-mates.

Nobody has come close to rivalling the number of Premier League assists (83) Silva has laid on since the start of the 2010-11 season, nor the level of chances created (745).

Those figures continue to swell and so too will the diminutive Spaniard's enormous imprint on English football over the course of his farewell lap.

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    In Saturday's Derby della Madonnina, Inter ultimately secured the bragging rights through an authoritative 2-0 win, but midway through the first-half their wing-back Danilo D'Ambrosio was likely ruing Gianluigi Donnarumma's pre-match words.

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    Best mates with the opposition are we, Danilo? Probably best not to hit the post from three yards out with the goal gaping in that case.

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    Gianluigi Buffon played his 902nd club match earlier on Saturday as Juventus battled to a 2-1 home win over Hellas Verona, matching the mark set by Milan great Paolo Maldini.

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    Still only 20, he has travelled plenty of road since then. For a long time, none of it felt particularly smooth.

    Mino Raiola's typically bombastic attempts to engineer more money and a blockbusting transfer for his client drove a wedge between Donnarumma and the Milan faithful. Then there was the steady drip, drip, drip of errors that threatened to become a deluge.

    When Inter beat Milan 1-0 11 months ago, Mauro Icardi – another man well-versed in player-fan relations – scored the winner after a wretched misjudgement from the Rossoneri keeper. On this occasion, it often felt like Donnarumma and his 6ft 5in frame was the only realistic bridge between a yawning gulf in class.

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