Written by Mark Gordon
Who is the best midfield player in the Premier League era? Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes, Patrick Viera? It’s difficult as there are so many differences stylistically between midfield players. I’m offering up an argument for David Josue Jimenez Silva.
It’s not just because Silva plays for the team I have followed for over 20 years. If he was an Englishman there would be no contest here I believe. However, if Silva had been born in England he may never have made it to the top. Here’s why I believe ‘Merlin’ is the best.
Since signing for Manchester City in the summer of 2010 for a fee of £26 million David Silva has been a key player in the City first team. In six full seasons domestically he has won 2 EPL titles, 2 League Cups and an FA Cup. Trophies alone don’t make a player great but Silva has had key role in these successes.
Adding to his domestic silverware the Spaniard has also won a World Cup and two European Championships. Again, medals alone do not define greatness. A key role in such victories however certainly adds towards it.
Aside from trophies the reason I see Silva as one of the very best is that I love to watch him play. He glides around the pitch as if he’s floating. His vision for a pass and skill to execute it is exemplary. A great individual and team player both at once.
I don’t feel Silva gets the credit he deserves and I’ve a few theories as to why.
- He’s not English.
It could be argued that the Spaniard’s small frame would’ve prevented him progressing at a young age in this country. Such has been the pursuit of tall strong athletes over ability at times. Had England produced a player like Silva he would be a household name. Just imagine what kind of price tag would be on him if he had been born in Great Yarmouth instead of Gran Canaria. As it is, Silva is looked upon as an expensive foreign import. This is more to do with his club than anything. Which brings me on to…
- He plays for Manchester City
Here’s where people will call me paranoid and bias. If David Silva played for Manchester United he would be given more recognition. I base this quite simply on the acclaim that some players of that team have received in the past. I’m not going to start naming names. We all know they’ve had more high profile players than Silva, who aren’t near the same ability level. For City are the buying club. Their players ‘should be good for the money they pay for them’. As if talent somehow doesn’t count if you play for City.
- He’s too nice
I don’t know David Silva so I’ve nothing evidentially to back up this view. However I have followed him closely for the last six years. Never have I seen him linked to any scandal. Never have I seen him quoted as saying anything out of order. He doesn’t appear flash or arrogant. Look at the column inches certain players get out-with the sports pages. Mostly negative stories but they build the social profile of a player which, in turn builds their transfer value. Maybe if Silva got drunk in public or said something controversial in interviews maybe he would get ‘noticed’ more.
A quick bit of research backs up Silva’s greatness. 63 assists from 202 Premier League appearances at the time of writing. Scholes only ever managed 45, Beckham 44. In comparison to his countryman Andres Iniesta he also fairs well. Over Iniesta’s last few seasons Silva created more chances and made more key passes per game than the Barcelona man. This despite the Catalan side’s dominance over this period.
It’s not just me and Manchester City fans who love Silva. Jurgen Klopp named him as his favourite Premier League player when he arrived from the Bundesliga. Former City manager Roberto Mancini also felt Silva was underappreciated. “If he played for Barcelona he would be seen as one the best in the world… and he is one of the best in the word” Mancini once pronounced.
To me someone like Silva should be celebrated. With his ability he could play anywhere in the world. Luckily for me he chose to stay with City these six years. I would enjoy watching him whatever team he played for though, he is that good. He is a perfect role model for youngsters. No need for scandal, arrogance or controversy to make it. Substance over scandal, skill over celebrity.
For me David Silva is the best player ever to play for City. At least of those I have seen. A quiet unassuming genius. He could go into and improve pretty much any team in the world. Maybe it’s my club bias but for me he is the best the Premier League has ever seen.
How highly do you rate David Silva? Is he the best ever Premier League Midfielder? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Corey-Adam Crowley