April 22, 2021

‘It was an honour to play with David Silva’ – Kolo Toure hails departing Manchester City great

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The former Citizens centre back fondly remembers playing alongside the Spaniard with his brother Yaya at Etihad Stadium

It was an honour to play alongside David Silva, according to former Manchester City defender Kolo Toure – who marvelled at how the Spain playmaker combined with his brother Yaya.

Silva will bring down the curtain on a 10-year City career when they conclude their 2019-20 campaign this month.

Friday’s Champions League last-16 encounter with Real Madrid, for which Pep Guardiola’s side hold a 2-1 advantage, could prove his final game in sky blue.

Silva won the first of his four Premier League titles in 2011-12, Toure’s penultimate season at the Etihad Stadium before joining Liverpool, while the pair featured in the 2011 FA Cup run that concluded with City ending a 35-year trophy drought.

“We called him El Maestro,” the former Arsenal centre-back told Stats Perform News. “He’s a fantastic player, technically unbelievable. I loved to play with him, especially with Yaya.

“All you had to do was pass them the ball. Yaya would come next to you, to get the ball, then Yaya would see David ahead and send the ball up quickly and the attack was on.”

Toure remarked upon how the diminutive Silva’s capacity to sharply read the game helped him to negotiate the physical demands of the Premier League.

“David doesn’t go to fight, he looks for gaps, for space to play between lines to help players,” he explained. “He doesn’t look for fights, he doesn’t need that. He just looks to help players. It was an honour to play with him.”

Silva’s exit comes a year after long-serving captain Vincent Kompany called time on a decade with City, while Yaya Toure left in 2018 having proved similarly influential.

Toure has no doubt his younger sibling should be rightly recognised among the finest performers the Premier League has seen; a midfielder ranking alongside celebrated England duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

“Yaya at one point was the most influential player in the league,” he added. “Scoring goals, making assists – scoring crucial goals.

“On the other side there are lots of things that have distracted his life, but Yaya is a legend in the Premier League, not just because he’s my brother, but because he’s a top player.

“Like Gerrard, Lampard. They were the best. He could score goals, pass, and run the game – a top player.”