This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
When David Silva made the announcement he would be leaving Manchester City at the end of the current campaign back in June, there was a definite sense of this being the end of another era. Vincent Kompany’s departure earlier in the summer took away one of the club’s Mount Rushmore figures, and now Silva will be joining him out the exit door come next year.
The Spaniard has been an ever-present in the Citizens side since joining from Valencia back in 2010, helping the team to win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups. It has been a trophy-laden Etihad career for the diminutive play-maker, and there would have been understandable despair when he confirmed his intentions.
The indoor football skills in the video below have to be seen to be believed…
Despite making an impressive start to the season (he has managed four assists in eight Premier League games), his role in the shock 2-0 defeat to Wolves on Sunday left a lot to be desired. It was the performance of a man who is reaching the twilight stages of his career, and perhaps not able to consistently deliver week-in and week-out at the highest level.
As per Sofascore, his 6.2 overall match rating was the joint-worst of any player on the pitch on Sunday. The Spaniard struggled to match the pace and intensity of the game, and looked all at sea trying to keep up with the Wolves midfield. The 5 foot 8 star has never been one to physically dominate games, but he has always found a way of ingeniously using his body and positioning to ensure he remains almost impossible to tackle.
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But against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, Silva got bullied in the middle of the park, winning just three out of his ten duels in total. His famed ability to keep the ball also deserted him, and the 33-year-old lost possession a staggering 15 times over the course of the game. Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho overwhelmed him, and it was no surprise to see the former Valencia man commit three fouls in an attempt to stop the visitors from running riot in midfield.
It may have just been a rare bad day in the office for one of City’s most influential players, but the nature of the performance has raised serious questions. Guardiola has the exceptional talent of Phil Foden waiting in the wings, desperate to get his chance. After Sunday’s disappointing display, and knowing he will be leaving at the end of the season, it may just be the perfect time for Silva to ride off into the sunset.