MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: David Silva of Manchester City is challenged by Arijan Ademi of GNK Dinamo Zagreb during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Manchester City and Dinamo Zagreb at Etihad Stadium on October 01, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by ESPN, Premier League veteran and Manchester City ace David Silva is said to be in talks with former club Valencia about a potential summer return to the La Liga. The report suggests that the deal is in the offing, but that it has currently been delayed owing to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The Spaniard has already clarified that he intends to leave City at the end of the season, with his current contract at the Etihad Stadium set to expire on June 30.

The midfield maestro’s former employers – La Liga outfit Valencia, are claimed to be keen on bringing him back to the Mestalla Stadium this summer, a whopping ten years after he left to join what was a still a budding project at the Etihad Stadium. Although negotiations are said to have begun, there have been complications due to the current world situation, primarily because of the uncertainty surrounding the futures of players whose contracts expire at the end of the current term.

What Is David Silva’s Role In The Manchester City Side?

The Spaniard has undoubtedly been one of the greatest players to grace the modern era of the Premier League, and his departure is sure to leave a massive dent in the core of Pep Guardiola’s side. The former Valencia man was very much one of the more prominent personalities within the squad, not just because of his experience, but also because of the sheer technical quality he brought to the table.

Adept at playing pinpoint passes and one of the calmest finishers the league has ever seen, Silva has earned the right to be called a Manchester City legend.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looks on after during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 08, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Here are three Manchester City players who could act as Silva’s successor:

Kevin De Bruyne

Although the Belgian star generally prefers to play in a more advanced position just in behind the main striker, there have been various instances over the last few years where he’s been deployed in the middle of the park. While the former Chelsea man certainly matches up to Silva in technicality, it must be conceded that he does lack the Spaniard’s discipline and patience in high-pressure situations – an attribute that cannot be replaced easily.

Ilkay Gundogan

The German international has shown signs of developing into a vital member of this Manchester City side. However, the fact that he’s still inconsistent would come as a concern to Guardiola. The German does like to work the passing lanes like the Spaniard, and he even makes similar runs into space. Although the former Borussia Dortmund man does look identical to Silva in stature, there is a massive difference in their overall quality on the ball.

Phil Foden

The youngster has undoubtedly been one of Pep Guardiola’s favourite utility players this season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Englishman being given a chance in the middle of the park next season. He was mostly used as an attacking midfielder or as a winger this term. Still, given his ball-carrying skills and passing vision, the City academy graduate could just as easily slot in the central areas of the pitch.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.