So that’s that then.
Next summer will close a chapter at Man City as David Silva’s era at the club comes to an emotional end.
The most prolific and successful era of the club’s history has forged several modern club legends: Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure…
But the Spanish technician is possibly the most consistently eye-catching player the Premier League has witnessed and 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
In much the same way Xavi and Andres Iniesta dictated Barcelona’s great teams of the late 00s, Silva has been creator-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 team-mates
Kompany is an inspirational captain, Toure was a towering presence in midfield, and 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 that he has remained both at a high level and indeed fit and healthy to consistently inspire City.
He’s featured in at least 40 games in every one of his nine full seasons.
3 The stats don’t lie
Silva has four Premier League titles, four League Cups and a two FA Cup successes 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 — Silva featured in all but two league games that campaign.
At the time of writing, he’s bagged 54 Premier League goals and provided 83 league assists.
He surpassed David Beckham’s total of 80 this season and now sits seventh in the all-time rankings.
4 He’s clocked up nearly 400 appearances for the club
Silva currently sits on 395 appearances for City and has made 282 of those in the Premier League – 16 more than anyone else.
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.
El Mago has flourished under the latter, arguably enjoying the best form of his club career over the last 18 months.
6 He’ll reach 10 years at the club
Silva announced this week that he’s following Kompany’s lead by leaving after 10 years at the club.
His testimonial will be special.
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.
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 all time.
“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
After Silva’s 300th City appearance in April, the Oasis songwriter simply said: “I’d let him have sex with my wife.”