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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019

'David Silva is a mixture of Iniesta and Xavi'

Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on a key creative influence at the Etihad Stadium.

David Silva (file pic).
David Silva (file pic).

DAVID SILVA HAS earned ultimate praise from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, with the Spaniard considered to be a mixture of Barcelona icons Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

The 32-year-old has just completed another standout season at the Etihad Stadium, with his efforts contributing significantly to a Premier League and Carabao Cup double.

Records have been sent tumbling by a dominant City side , with Silva providing composure and creativity at the heart of the midfield engine room.

He contributed 10 goals and 13 assists to the Blues cause across all competitions, with Guardiola quick to hail the influence of a World Cup winner on a side which has drawn comparisons to a legendary team the Catalan guided to numerous major honours at Camp Nou.

“If we had so much success here [Manchester] and in Barcelona that’s because of the central midfielders,” Guardiola told ESPN Brazil.

Xavi was a player with outstanding control and dynamic, he couldn’t lose the ball. He could control the game rhythm, reading perfectly when to accelerate … Andres is similar, but always changing the pace. And David Silva is a mixture between both of them. David also knows when to control and when to accelerate.”

Silva has been ably assisted this season by Belgium international De Bruyne, with 12 goals and 20 assists earning him nominations for the PFA and Premier League Player of the Year awards .

Guardiola added on the talented 26-year-old: “Kevin is exuberant. He is not a controller, he is more dynamic, coming from behind, finishing, crossing, appearing here, then there, defending, attacking.

“He is a complete player, less control and much more movement. When he stops he is not that effective as Xavi, David and Andres.”

Worryingly for City’s Premier League rivals, Guardiola believes there is even more to come from Silva, De Bruyne and Co as a side which collected 100 points this season sets their sights on hitting even greater heights.

“There is always more,” added Guardiola.

You may think there isn’t. The players you coach are responsible for new ways of thinking and insights. Sometimes you discover things you previously didn’t know, maybe pairing these two players will give you a good midfield movement, something like that.

“When I left Barcelona, I thought that my space to revolutionise was ended, but no. We have seen that there is always a way to do new things, especially because you have different players.”

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