Manchester City have been blessed with some magnificent players down the years.
But it’s worth noting that one man has been a constant throughout the most prolific and successful era of the club’s history.
David Silva, of course.
The Spanish technician now looks a bargain at £24m – the fee City paid Valencia for his services way back in 2010.
But, for me, Silva doesn’t get anywhere near the recognition he deserves.
He’s possibly the most consistently eye-catching player the Premier League has witnessed and, I believe, there’s an argument to claim he’s City’s best EVER player.
Here’s a few reasons why…
1 Silva has been the linchpin of City’s greatest ever generation
There’s no denying that.
In much the same way Xavi and Andres Iniesta dictated Barcelona’s great teams of the mid 00s, Silva has been orchestrator in chief for City from his first season in Manchester.
Players have come and gone at a rate of knots with City spending billions under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour, but Silva has always remained at the heart of everything.
2 He’s been consistent throughout – unlike his teammates
Vincent Kompany is an inspirational captain, Yaya Toure has been a towering presence in midfield and Sergio Aguero is one of the Premier League’s best ever goalscorers.
But all three have either suffered with form or fitness during their City careers.
It’s testament to Silva then that he has remained both at a high level and indeed fit and healthy to consistently inspire City.
3 The stats don’t lie
Silva has two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup success under his belt in Manchester.
That’s more than the likes of traditional club legends Mike Summerbee, Bert Trautmann and Colin Bell can say, who all won just the one league title each.
City ended a 45-year wait for the biggest prize in English football in 2011/12 and it’s no surprise to see who was at the heart of that success.
4 He’s clocked up over 300 appearances for the club
Aside from Kompany, who has been at the Etihad two years longer, Silva also has more City caps than Aguero and Toure too.
5 He’s survived FOUR managers – and been the brains for all of them
Roberto Mancini, Brian Kidd, Manuel Pellegrini and now Pep Guardiola have all put their faith in Silva to act as their creative hub.
6 He’s compensated for some bang average players and made them look reasonable
7 If he pens a new deal and sees out his contract, he’ll reach 10 years at the club
That’s a mean feat in this fickle day and age – and he’d be well worthy of a testimonial.
8 His team-mates and manager are fully in love with him
The language used by his City contemporaries show just how adored Silva is in the dressing room too.
Kompany once said: “One thing David will have done is change the way Man City fans look at football.
“I think you had a lot of players come here – like I did, like Pablo Zabaleta did – but David Silva made sure there’s now another element that City fans expect to their football.”
And Pablo Zabaleta is also a firm member of the Silva appreciation society.
“I am so lucky to have been playing in the same side as great players but especially David because he is so good,” the Argentine said.
“I could keep talking about David all day because I love him so much. For me he’s the greatest City player ever.”
As for Guardiola? Well he rates him right up there with the best of the bunch.
Pep said: “When I say I’m a lucky guy, it’s because I was with Xavi, Iniesta and now with Silva. All three are outstanding players.”
9 But most importantly… he’s kept Noel Gallagher happy
The Oasis songwriter simply said – after Silva’s 300th City appearance in April – “I’d let him have sex with my wife.”