Men's Team

Bell says Silva is 'irreplaceable'

Colin Bell has given David Silva the ultimate compliment by claiming the Spaniard is one of the best players to ever play for City and is ‘irreplaceable’.

The man known as ‘The King’ by Blues’ followers is generally accepted to be the Club’s greatest ever player, but the former legend believes the crown would fit nicely on Silva’s head.

“David Silva would walk into any City team,” said Bell, who clocked up nearly 500 appearances for City between 1966-1979.

“He is in my personal greatest all-time XI and is just fantastic to watch. When he’s on the ball, he makes the whole team tick and we don’t look the same side without him. He has an incredible awareness and is the perfect player for the modern game.

David Silva

“People ask me how I rate him compared to the players who played during my era and he’s up there with the very best.

“We were different players – don’t get me wrong – and I suppose I brought something different to the City team than David does. My game was more about box-to-box, high energy with a lot of running, but that’s not how the game is now.

The role I played in the City team back then means I don’t know where I would have fitted into the current side!

...Colin Bell..


“Silva glides around the pitch and is an integral part of our recent successes and he is a genuine pleasure to watch.

“I used to tackle more and head it, but he doesn’t need to do that side of the game because there are other players in the team who do that. All you need to do is give him the ball and he takes care of the rest.

“I suppose I was more of an all-rounder in that respect, but as I say, the game has changed a lot in the past 30 years or so.”

Bell, who also won 48 caps for England, says he would have enjoyed playing alongside Silva, though the pitches, particularly in dark midwinter back in the 1960s and 1970s, might not have suited El Mago’s slick passing game!

“We had to play in some poor conditions, that’s for sure” said Bell who joined the Blues from Bury in 1966. “As the season progressed and the weather deteriorated and so the pitches gradually worsened.

“There was many games that were no more than a mud-bath and definitely not conducive to a slick passing game so things have improved dramatically in that respect with today’s surfaces lush and green all year round,.

“The bottom line is Silva is a magnificent player and I thoroughly enjoy watching him play. His movement, vision and intelligence are as good as I’ve seen and I hope he continues to grace the City team for many more years to come.

“We’ve invested a lot of money into the team in recent years but for me, Silva and Sergio Aguero are irreplaceable in my opinion.

“We have a terrific squad of players, but if you take those two out of the equation, we lose some of our cutting edge so like every other City fan, I hope they are both back in the team as quickly as possible and preferably this weekend against Liverpool.”

View all club partners