Shaun Wright-Phillips explains how David Silva made a fool of him at Manchester City

David Silva and Shaun Wright-Phillips standing arm-in-arm during a Manchester City training session in August 2011.
(Image credit: Sharon Latham/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

David Silva left Manchester City (opens in new tab) as a bona fide club legend – but upon his arrival in England, some of his teammates just didn't understand the excitement...

The silky Spaniard joined City from Valencia in the summer of 2010, as one of the club's biggest signings since Sheikh Mansour's transformative takeover two years earlier.

And he became an instant hit with the fans, scooping three consecutive player of the month awards before the end of the year.

Silva's first season at the Etihad Stadium culminated in FA Cup glory as City ended their 35-year wait for a major trophy; he'd then play a pivotal role in their maiden Premier League title-winning campaign of 2011/12.

There's no doubt that Silva – who left City in 2020, having made over 400 appearances – is one of the greatest players ever to grace the Premier League – only six players have provided more assists in the competition's history than his 93 – but then City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips was apprehensive at first...

Speaking to FourFourTwo in the latest issue available to buy (opens in new tab), the ex-England international – who spent only that one season with Silva at City, explained the first impression he and teammate Joleon Lescott had of their new colleague:

"I remember when [Silva] arrived at City, Joleon Lescott and I were wondering what all of the hype was about.

"We had a good laugh about it: Joleon said, 'He's about the same size as you!' [Wright-Phillips stands at 5ft 5in to Silva's 5ft 6in].

"It took us about 15 minutes in that first training session to realise how brilliant a player we had. From that day, we nicknamed David 'Merlin'."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...