David Silva sits above Sergio Aguero and has cemented a standing as the best player to have ever represented Manchester City, claims Alvaro Negredo.
The Blues have just completed another record-breaking season under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, with a domestic treble completed for the first time in English football history.
Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup crowns have been secured, with City sweeping aside all before them.
A star-studded squad has allowed them to become a dominant force, with world-class talent boasted from back to front.
Argentine striker Aguero is very much the leading man in the final third, as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, but he is allowed to thrive as a result of others pulling the strings.
World Cup-winning midfielder Silva is the puppet master in chief, with the 33-year-old having played a leading role across nine seasons in turning City into a global superpower.
He is now considered to be the greatest in the Blues’ illustrious history, with former Etihad Stadium frontman Negredo telling The National: “I like so much Aguero, but my preference is David Silva.
“People look at the goals; the striker normally draws more passion from the supporters. Aguero scores so many goals. But when you play on the pitch, the striker is important but he doesn’t play alone.
“For me, David is the best [in City’s history]. When you take one No. 10 with this quality, this vision, for a striker it’s easier. When David takes the ball, you always think ‘his pass will come, it will come to me’.
“Maybe the striker is more egotistical and it’s always ‘goal, goal, goal’, but David is the player who opens the space when the opponent is closed, always the one with the better solution.
“When I stayed in Manchester, David was the best. And now he continues to be.”
While lauding the influence of Silva in Manchester, Negredo – who was on City’s books between 2013 and 2015 – acknowledged that Guardiola has also made a telling contribution to the ongoing progression of an ambitious club.
The Spaniard added on a fellow countryman: “Guardiola is maybe in the three best coaches in the world.
“For the plan on the pitch, the work during the week to prepare for the game, in my opinion he is the best.
“I speak to the people at Manchester City, and they say he’s the best coach. The football of Guardiola is totally different: always wanting the ball, never losing the ball.
“They have 65 or 70 per cent possession, and when you recover the ball there is no energy for the counterattack. When you suddenly get the ball it’s so difficult.
"It was the same in Barcelona when I played them: it was impossible for a striker to run to close every position and then take the ball. For what? It was so hard.”