David Silva is still Manchester City’s best playmaker!

Published: March 22, 2014
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Despite an injury lay-off, Silva’s passing success has been spot on this season and, once again, much above his colleagues. PHOTO: REUTERS

Maybe it’s because David Silva has always been, and continues to be, an out and out playmaker rather than a striker, I was, nonetheless, thrilled to see him score against Hull City last week. However, this piece has nothing to do with his delicious strike.

There is no doubt that the arrival of Fernando Luiz Rosa and Jesus Navas last summer, and improving form of Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure are a big reason behind Manchester City’s impressive showing this season, but the former Valencia man has still been the most diligent contributor in the City midfield.

How is that possible, you ask?

Well, statistics speak for themselves and we’ll take them one at a time here.

David Silva (R) celebrates after scoring a goal against Hull City. Photo: Reuters

Chance creation

As per Squawka.com, David Silva has made more than three chances in every game he has played this season, whereas, his midfield counterparts’ average contribution per game has been less than two!

If we make assessments upon individual competitions, then Nasri is the only one who has fared slightly better in the Champions League, with 2.29 chances created per game (thanks to his recent blistering form), whereas Silva made two chances per game.

Left to right: Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva, Roberto Mancini (top), Yaya Toure and Jerome Boateng poses following an open training session.

Key passes

Similarly, Silva has made an impressive 64 passes in 24 appearances, whereas the likes of Fernandinho, Navas, Nasri and Toure have managed 120 passes combined.

Successful passes

Despite an injury lay-off, Silva’s passing success has been spot on this season and, once again, way above his colleagues, except Yaya Toure. Silva comes in a close second to Toure’s 117 successful passes per game, with 105 passes.

Goals scored and attempts

Lastly, boiling down to finding the net, making no bones, Toure’s 13 English Premier League (EPL) goals this season have been both a surprise and a revelation for City. He is second only to the world class player, Sergio Aguero, who leads with 15. Toure certainly deserves all the credit for what is considerably his best season ever but Silva has some contribution to it as well, since his efficient and selfless passing allowed Toure to play deeper than usual.

David Silva with Sergio Aguero. Photo: Reuters

Still, Silva has managed to score five goals in eight games; less than the Ivory Coast man with his shot per game ratio of 1.83 (in both EPL and Champions League matches) leading the City midfield.

I do remember that Manuel Pellegrini acknowledged the significance of Silva to City earlier this season and although, at 28 years of age, Silva might not be nurtured in the truest sense.

However, “The Engineer” and the City management will have quite a tough time holding onto the Spaniard as Real Madrid and Barca gear up to make a summer move.

Nabil Saleh

Nabil Saleh

A research analyst by profession with an avid interest in movies and soccer, he tweets as @nabilsaleh85 (twitter.com/nabilsaleh85)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.