David Silva will bring the curtain down on his Premier League career next summer and English football will say farewell to one of the greatest midfielders to grace the top division.
But where does he rank compared to some of the other leading midfielders to feature in the Premier League?
Adrian Kajumba attempted to make a top 10 of Premier League central midfielders.
Spaniard David Silva will call time on his Premier League career at the end of next season
TOP 10 MIDFIELDERS IN PREMIER LEAGUE HISTORY
10 – N’Golo Kante
In just two seasons he cemented his place in Premier League folklore. Inspired Leicester to their incredible 2016 title and followed that up by doing the same at Chelsea. In doing so he became the first player since Eric Cantona in 1993 to win back-to-back top-flight titles. Kante’s freakish ability to read the game, be in the right position to snuff out danger and his tireless running would improve any side in Premier League history.
In just two seasons N’Golo Kante cemented his place in Premier League folklore
9 – Xabi Alonso
Steven Gerrard was gutted when Xabi Alonso left Liverpool, which says plenty. Alonso was left unsettled by Rafa Benitez’s ultimately failed pursuit of Gareth Barry and the success he went onto enjoy at Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and with Spain after leaving Anfield in 2009 showed how costly that chase was. Alonso was complete. Technically-gifted and not afraid to put in shift, Alonso possessed a brilliant range of passing that helped him dictate games and was also a set-piece specialist.
Xabi Alonso was complete – he was technically-gifted and was not afraid to put in a shift
8 – Claude Makalele
In the peak Galacticos era, despite his teammates understanding his value, Real Madrid deemed Claude Makalele not worthy of an improved contract and disposable. Their loss was Chelsea and the Premier League’s gain. The Blues and England got one of the game’s great defensive midfielders, so good he redefined his role. The position is now often referred to as the Makalele role. A key cog in two title winning Chelsea teams during his five years at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea and England got one of the game’s greatest defensive midfielders in Claude Makelele
7 – David Silva
He will be gone after 10 years at the end of next season but never forgotten by Premier League fans. The man nicknamed Merlin has been a magical signing for City, costing just £26m in 2010. Technically perfect, Silva’s ability to effortlessly pull the strings, glide through and impact games is so consistent it is more of a surprise when he doesn’t. Four Premier League titles are only a fraction of the legacy he will leave from his time in England. Another key figure in City’s rise.
Spain star Silva has been a magical signing for City, costing just £26million back in 2010
6 – Yaya Toure
At his absolute peak, Yaya Toure had few equals. Anywhere. He really could do the lot. Pass brilliantly, create chances like the best play makers, tackle opponents, score regularly from central midfield, take set pieces and physically dominate opponents. Once Toure in his pomp got going on one of his runs from midfield there really was no stopping him. He won three titles at City and played a huge part in turning City into the Premier League’s dominant force.
Yaya Toure played a huge part in turning Man City into the Premier League’s dominant force
5 – Steven Gerrard
A true Liverpool legend who came through the club’s academy and went onto have a career that was lit up by Roy of the Rovers moments. At times Gerrard dragged his side to victory single-handedly and was so often their go-to man in times of need. An all-action, goal-scoring hero, whose long-range passing, shooting and leadership qualities were among his very best attributes.
At times midfielder Steven Gerrard dragged his Liverpool side to victory single-handedly
4 – Paul Scholes
One of the finest midfielders this country has produced, even if his role with the England squad never reflected that. Scholes came through as a striker, developed firstly into one of the league’s best goal scoring midfielders and finished his career as a deep-lying playmaker but equally as effective as earlier in his career. Finished his career with a huge haul of 11 titles.
Former United star Phil Scholes is one of the finest midfielders England has ever produced
3 – Frank Lampard
The greatest goal-scoring midfielder in Premier League history. Perfectly-timed, late runs into the box and goals from distance became the trademark of Lampard whose prodigious work ethic helped him overcome the early doubts about how good he could be to become, at one stage, the world’s best central midfielder. His 177 goals make him the league’s fourth highest all-time top scorer and the Chelsea manager-in-waiting won three Premier League titles for the Blues.
Frank Lampard is the greatest goal-scoring midfielder in Premier League history
2 – Patrick Vieira
In the days when central midfielders did everything Patrick Vieira summed that up perfectly. Few would have expected it when he arrived as a little-known £3.5m capture from AC Milan in 1996. Had a unique combination of technique and grace allied with speed, tenacity and physicality. His rivalry with Keane was iconic and he was central, in more ways than one, to Arsenal’s three Premier League titles and named in the PFA team of the year six seasons running.
Patrick Vieira uniquely combined technique and grace with speed, tenacity and physicality
1 – Roy Keane
Central to Manchester United’s dominance in the mid-90s and early-2000s was the dominant personality and presence of Roy Keane. A fearsome character with an incredible will to win that epitomised his manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Keane also had an underrated ability on the ball, chipping in with goals as an all-action box-to-box midfielder earlier in his career before assuming a deeper role and conducting United’s play in his later years. Keane is arguably the greatest captain the league has ever seen and led United to seven Premier League titles.
Former Manchester United star Roy Keane is arguably the greatest captain the league has seen
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