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David Silva showed himself to be a “magician” within days of arriving at Manchester City, says Shaun Wright-Phillips, with the World Cup winner quickly silencing those who questioned whether he was cut out for life in the Premier League.
His undoubted ability convinced City that he was worth investing in, but concerns were raised regarding his suitability to the physicality of English football.
Silva set about easing those fears from the moment he linked up with the Blues and has gone on to spend 10 memorable years at the Etihad Stadium.
He is about to take on a new challenge, with a drop into the free agent pool set to be made once his contract expires on the back of one final Champions League quest.
A move to Serie A giants Lazio appears to be in the offing, with Silva still having plenty of football left in him at 34 years of age.
Wright-Phillips expects the former Spain international to thrive wherever he ends up, with his remarkable exploits at City having shown that he is capable of clearing any obstacles put in his path.
The former Blues winger told BBC Radio 5 Live of his experience alongside Silva: “Me and Joleon Lescott, we spoke about something when he first came.
“We saw his frame, he was quite slight and nimble, he didn’t carry too much weight. One of the conversations we had was: ‘Do you reckon he’ll be able to handle the physical side of the game?’ Because coming from Spain, he’s not going to get all of those fouls that he used to get at that time.
“After one or two training sessions, me and Joleon just looked at each other and just said: ‘He’s got no problem, he’s like a magician!’
“What’s amazed us more is that he’s stayed at that level for 10 years, playing the same thing, goals and assists all year round.
“I think he’s had a tremendous career and I hope he goes to the next club and does the exact same thing – just not against City!”
Silva has taken in 435 appearances for City, recording 77 goals and 140 assists.