Manchester City's options to replace veteran midfielder David Silva
After an illustrious career at the Etihad, this season will be David Silva’s last in the Premier League or at least with Manchester City. The veteran midfielder has close to 400 appearances for the defending English champions, winning four Premier League titles, four League Cups and two FA Cups.
Despite the availability of Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva, manager Pep Guardiola could be looking out in the transfer market to bring in more competition for the pair this summer. Following is the list of four options the Citizens may consider to replace the Spaniard.
1. Kai Havertz
A product of Bayer Leverkusen’s famous youth academy, German midfielder Kai Havertz has developed into one of the world’s brightest talents over the few seasons at the Bay Arena. He is Bundesliga’s youngest ever player to reach 30 league goals last month and has been a part of another top season with ‘Die Werkself’, netting ten goals and eight assists across all competitions.
There’s more to the list of accolades as he is also the youngest ever debutant for Leverkusen, youngest ever goalscorer for the club and also holds the record for most goals by a teenager in Bundesliga history, firing 17 goals during the 18/19 season.
Havertz is also considered similar to Silva as both players possess similar mobility and off-the-ball awareness and despite his young age, the German is accomplished at delivering the final product needed to play at such a high level. He is reported to be available with a price tag of £100m and looking at City’s concerns over the financial fair play system, things are slightly uncertain.
2. Jack Grealish
In January, Pep Guardiola described Grealish as ‘one of the best players in the league’. This proves Pep is already an admirer of Aston Villa’s skipper. Despite his club struggling in their first season in the Premier League after promotion from the Championship last season, Grealish has given some extraordinary performances under manager Dean Smith.
Grealish has nine goals and eight assists in 31 appearances and the 24-year-old has proven himself that he is more than capable of playing at the highest level in this term. Technically gifted with the ball at his feet, Grealish is similar to Silva in ability and he is someone who can bring a different edge to Guardiola’s attack next season.
3. Fabian Ruiz
Fabian Ruiz could be the ready-made replacement for David Silva next season at Manchester City. Ruiz has been one of the emerging players who is technically sound and his performances have already attracted the Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Ruiz is a natural attacking-minded central midfielder and has shown superb agility despite being 6’2. The Spaniard will be a wonderful physical addition to Pep’s man City. With 10 goals in 72 matches for Napoli in all competitions, Ruiz could add another route of goals for City if he completes the move this summer.
Napoli are expecting £70m for the Spain international which could prove as a huge block for the Citizens.
4. Houssem Aouar
Lyon’s 21-year-old French midfielder could also come as a reliable option for Pep and company. Hitting nine goals and setting up seven across all competitions this season, the young star has continued to show control and fantastic technique under manager Rudi Garcia.
Aouar can play anywhere in the midfield and has been in comparison with the Lyon legend Juninho, taking the famous number eight squad number during his time with the club. The midfielder has over 100 appearances in his senior career and that proves his maturity is just enough to play in England’s top flight.
Surprisingly, Pep Guardiola has had eyes on him as well from the time when Manchester City played Lyon in the Champions League last season in the group stages, where the City boss called him ‘incredible’ and ‘excellent’. With the midfielder above par all-round technical ability, a £55m move may be on the cards.
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