Manchester City had to part with £24 million when acquiring David Silva from Valencia in the summer of 2010.
That may sound like a lot – because it is – but it is proving to be money well spent for the reigning Premier League champions.
They knew what they were buying into when signing a man who has tasted World Cup and European Championship success with Spain, but even they may not have expected him to be quite so prolific in terms of creating opportunities for others.
Silva was able to hit the ground running in England, though, and has helped City to enjoy a period of domestic dominance which has delivered two top-flight titles along with FA Cup and League Cup triumphs.
Throughout that spell, the 28-year-old has been a shining light when it comes to finding teammates in important areas of the field.
In fact, no player in England has attempted more assists that Silva in the last three years.
|Team||Season||Total Att Assist||Big Chance Created||Appearances||Mins Played|
|David Silva||Man City||2012-2013||104||13||32||2,521|
|David Silva||Man City||2013-2014||86||11||27||2,173|
|David Silva||Man City||2014-2015||24||3||10||837|
It comes as something of a surprise to find that Silva actually fared better in the 2012/13 campaign - a season City finished empty-handed - than he did during last season’s title-winning surge.
His combined numbers make for impressive reading, though, with 214 efforts made at opening up rival defences, with 27 of those presenting clear sights of goal.
To put those figures into some sort of perspective, and taking his 69 appearances into account, Silva averages three attempted assists per game – which goes some way to explaining why City have been so difficult to contain in the final third of the field.