Real Sociedad secured the signing of one of the finest players of the Premier League era when they tempted David Silva to resist the advances of Lazio and join them upon his departure from Manchester City in August 2020. Even at the age of 34, and 10 years after he arguably became City’s most important signing of the modern era, his sophistication and technique meant his arrival as a free agent represented a coup.
“In my first year at City, I’d talk to him about how surprised I was that he came (to the Premier League),” said City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, about the classiest of midfielders. “A league so physical, so tough, so imposing, with this climate, this style of football. How he was able to survive or adapt and do it so well.”