Manchester City have the best midfield trio in the world, according to former Liverpool manager turned pundit Graeme Souness.
Souness, writing his column for The Sunday Times, made the bold but not unreasonable claim that in David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho, Manchester City have the best midfield three of any club out there.
“David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho are the best midfield trio in world football right now, good enough to win Manchester City the Champions League this season, with a little luck,” wrote Souness.
“When I named a Premier League team from the past 25 years or so in this column last season, Silva and De Bruyne were the only current players in it. They made up my midfield with Paul Scholes, arguably the best British midfielder of that era, but Fernandinho probably provides better balance.”
Barcelona shelled out £142 million to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in January of this year, and Souness believes both Silva and De Bruyne are superior players, questioning how much KDB would fetch in today’s market.
“As a midfield three, Silva, De Bruyne and Fernandinho are as good as it gets. Barcelona paid Liverpool £142m for Philippe Coutinho, but Silva and De Bruyne are at another level to the Brazilian, so what price De Bruyne?”
As for David Silva, 54-cap Scotland international Souness believes he is up there with Barcelona and Spain legends Iniesta and Xavi.
“Pep Guardiola inherited some gems when he took over at Manchester City in 2016 — De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Aguero among them — but Silva is the jewel in the crown. You can put him up there with Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez in a golden age of Spanish midfielders.”
And even with Bernardo Silva among the ranks, Souness doesn’t believe even the talented Portuguese playmaker has the same quality as El Mago.
Souness wrote: “Good luck with replacing Silva. In Bernardo Silva, City have a like-for-like in terms of style, but he doesn’t have the same quality as his namesake. He’s a younger version, but I doubt he can reach the same heights.
“They’re also looking at Phil Foden and he’s that type of player, if he develops. They’ll be scouring the world for the next Fernandinho, the next Silva. You admire what City are doing on the pitch, but there’s so much right behind the scenes, too. They appear to be getting the best youngsters, so I imagine their recruitment is up to speed.”
Tottenham may have to come up against the lauded Silva, De Bruyne and Fernandinho trio on Monday night at Wembley if Pep Guardiola selects all three – which City Watch is predicting he will.