DAVID SILVA will leave Manchester City next summer as one of the key figures in their incredible rise to the top.
Nowhere is their progress more visible than in comparison with neighbours Manchester United.
With the Spanish playmaker at the club, the Citizens have notched four Premier League titles, four League Cups and a pair of FA Cup trophies.
While the financial investment has been staggering, Silva’s decade at the club has been a far cry from the club’s fortunes beforehand.
In 2010, he joined a team relying on the likes of Stephen Ireland, Roque Santa Cruz and Adam Johnson for creativity that missed out on Champions League qualification by three points.
United, meanwhile, were in the thick of it for the Premier League title having won four in five years between 2007 and 2011.
Things were never the same again after that, though, with Silva bagging six goal and 15 assists as Sergio Aguero stole the title of Red Devil clutches with the last kick of the 2011/12 season.
The following year saw momentary reprieve as Sir Alex Ferguson bid a triumphant farewell and Silva put in one of his more quiet campaigns.
Taking into account only the past six seasons, City have whopped their rivals eight to three in terms of trophies.
That period saw Silva stand out as one of the few genuinely world class players in the league, yet somehow he only entered two PFA Team of the Year lists.
On the same note, his continued omission from FIFPro World XIs and the Ballon d’Or reckoning betrays the fact he has over 70 goals and 100 assists in almost 400 appearances for one of Europe’s top clubs of the past decade.
Along the way, City have been able to rebuild their corner of Manchester and help place it among the world’s footballing capitals.
United have dropped off considerably during that period, succumbing to four goals from the Spanish maestro in 17 appearances.
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The midfielder hasn’t been alone in this; Vincent Kompany, Roberto Mancini, Aguero, Yaya Toure and Pep Guardiola can also boast an integral role.
But Silva’s style and vision has been central in terms of footballing philosophy as well as outright results.
How United fans will have wished they snapped him up for £25million – and how they will be happy to see the back of him in 12 months’ time.