David Silva’s legacy at Manchester City will be to have changed the club, according to director of football Txiki Begiristain.
Veteran playmaker Silva is set to leave City at the end of this season, following a decorated 10-year stint that has yielded four Premier League titles, five EFL Cups and two FA Cups – the first of which in 2011 ended a 35-year trophy drought.
He offered a reminder of his enduring qualities with a masterful display in Wednesday’s 5-0 routing of Newcastle United.
Silva supplied his 120th and 121st assists in City colours by setting up Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, while he also dispatched a 65th-minute free-kick – the 76th goal of his time in England.
Begiristain feels Silva holds a special place in City history, along with club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero and the recently departed Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany.
“He’s been unbelievable in football in the world – especially here,” he told the club’s official website. “He’s spent 10 wonderful years, winning trophies and changing the dynamic of the club.
“He’s been one of the leaders – with Vincent, with Yaya and Kun [Aguero]. No one will forget what they’ve done for this football club.
“Not only the way David plays football but helping us be a successful club.
“David is always going to be remembered because of that.”
Brazil forward Jesus opened the scoring with his 11th Premier League goal of the season – ending a nine-match drought that stretched back to February’s 2-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid.
Echoing the sentiments of Pep Guardiola, Begiristain praised Jesus’ selfless work for the team during a period of personal toil.
“His work rate, he’s unbelievable,” he said. “He helps a lot by creating space for the midfielders.
“He’s the number nine and he likes to score and [against Newcastle] he could. We are always happy with the work rate.”