While some may doubt the legitimacy of Pep Guardiola’s claims, it appears David Silva is at the very least a doubt for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.
That inevitably leaves a worrying hole in Guardiola’s side; while he may not be receiving the same kind of plaudits as Kevin De Bruyne this season, Silva is the metronomic influence in midfield, one that epitomises everything about the Manchester City gaffer’s philosophy.
On the other hand, it’s not as though City are short of potential replacements. Assuming Ferandinho will anchor behind KDB as usual, there are no less than five obvious Silva-stand-ins for Guardiola to choose from, all of which offer something a little different in the engine room.
While Bernardo Silva is perhaps the most similar in style to his name-sake, Ilkay Gundogan and Yaya Toure offer the same quality in possession as well – while Fabian Delph, one of the real surprise successes of the season at the Etihad Stadium, could be the perfect candidate to beef up the midfield for such an important game.
Then there’s the dark horse to replace Silva – academy product Phil Foden, who is still awaiting his first Premier League appearance but would inject some local-lad feel into the derby, having been born in nearby Stockport.
So, City fans, who do you think should replace the 118-cap Spaniard? Let us know by voting below…