With the news that David Silva has been ruled out for a month we assess his importance at Eastlands.
After missing several matches earlier in the season David Silva had recently come back into the team and played his part in a decent run of form that saw Manchester City put in some excellent performances.
Silva is now expected to miss as many as five matches with a calf injury he picked up in the second half against CSKA Moscow, including next weekend's crunch game with Tottenham Hotspur. This weekend's visit to Sunderland precedes that, and the Spaniard is also set to sit out matches against Viktoria Plzen, Swansea and West Brom. City hope to have him back for the trip to Southampton on December 7th in what promises to be another big match. Following that is a trip to Bayern Munich that Tuesday, and a weekend match hosting Arsenal, both of which Silva may struggle to be at 100% for.
Despite playing just seven Premier League games this year, the skilful attacking midfielder has still scored three and created four goals for the Citizens. And this form, alongside the performances of Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, had promised to be the key to City's title hopes. A prolonged period out of the team may just derail the Sky Blues title bid. One need only take a look at his role in the demolition of Norwich last week to see how important he is to their attacking play.
Of concern to Pellegrini is that the Chilean is still waiting to pick a settled team that includes his strongest players, having been deprived of captain Vincent Kompany at various times this season, and now Silva.
Of course, such an injury leaves a squad as talented as City's with an opportunity for a player to come in and impress their manager. Both Jesus Navas and James Milner will see Silva's misfortune as a chance to convince Pellegrini that they are more than just the squad players they've tended to be used as thus far this year, with Navas in particular yet to really get going for his new club.
Pellegrini will just be grateful that his side have qualified for the next round of the Champions League because, such is David Silva's importance, his absence for the two remaining games could have thrown that in jeopardy.
image: © ins11thiago