David Silva’s final match for Manchester City saw him come on against Lyon as an 84th-minute substitute

Manchester City have announced plans for a statue of Spanish playmaker David Silva at Etihad Stadium.

Silva’s successful 10-year spell at City came to an end after Saturday’s Champions League defeat by Lyon.

Signed from Valencia in 2010, the midfielder, 34, made 436 appearances and helped City win 14 trophies.

Silva will return to La Liga next season – he had been linked with Italian side Lazio, but a move to Real Sociedad was announced late on Monday.

“David is a transformational player, a quiet leader who has inspired everyone around him,” said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

“David’s statue will act as a lasting reminder of the wonderful moments that he gave us, not only as an incredible footballer, but as an inspiring ambassador who represented this football club with great dignity at all times.”

The statue will be unveiled in 2021, along with another tribute dedicated to former City captain Vincent Kompany, who left the club last year and announced earlier on Monday he was retiring from playing.

Silva’s contribution will also be commemorated by the naming of a training pitch and mosaic in his honour at City’s training ground.

Silva, who was in the squads to win the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, posted a farewell letter to City fans, saying the club had left an “indelible mark” on his life and career.

“I look back and it is clear I could not have made a better decision than to accept City’s proposal to join their project back in 2010,” he said.

Silva made 309 Premier League appearances, scoring 60 goals and playing an instrumental part in City’s four title wins in 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2019.

In domestic cup competitions, he played 57 times and won two FA Cups, five League Cups and three Community Shields.

Silva holds the record for the most European appearances for City, having played 70 Champions League matches over the past decade.


BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

The departure of David Silva signals a summer of change around Manchester City during what will be a very short close season.

Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres have already been bought to strengthen Pep Guardiola’s squad, with another central defender also set to come in amid uncertainty over the futures of John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Eric Garcia.

On Guardiola though, there are no doubts within the Etihad Campus. Whilst there is understandably deep disappointment at City around Saturday’s Champions League defeat by Lyon, faith in Guardiola remains strong.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager has a year left on his contract and there is no barrier to him staying with City beyond what will be a fifth season, which would make him the club’s longest serving manager since Joe Mercer.

Guardiola will know the freedom he has at City is beyond anything he could expect at a comparable club and for all the obvious disappointments in Europe, the Blues have won six trophies out of the last nine on offer domestically.

The big question is whether he has the appetite for the challenge, beyond trying to regain the Premier League title and end what has become an irritating run of quarter-final exits in the Champions League.

source: www.bbc.com/

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