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Kevin De Bruyne rival who could be a Man City bargain buy

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"When I say one thing, I move forward. I am sorry, I have been here ten years and I have fulfilled what I wanted. The cycle closes here, but I will always keep this club in mind for everything I have lived."

Manchester City are yet to confirm any official departure, but it looks as though David Silva's career in England will end once the current campaign is eventually concluded.

The Spaniard has graced the Premier League over the course of the past decade, having showcased the value of technique, vision, elegance and style as opposed to the physical aspects that English football has become renowned for.

Manuel Pellegrini, Roberto Mancini and Pep Guardiola represent different playing styles, yet Silva has thrived under each regime, registering a total of 301 Premier League appearances thus far, as well as 57 goals and 90 assists.

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Rather than regularly finding the net, Silva has provided chance after chance for his teammates as one of his club's primary creators.

He's currently placed 7th overall for total number of assists in Premier League history, two behind Steven Gerrard and four behind Dennis Bergkamp.

It remains to be seen whether Pep Guardiola will hold an interest in recruiting a replacement considering the emergence of Phil Foden, but if so, there's a player from within the division who could prove to be a bargain.

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City are unlikely to encounter monetary problems for obvious reasons, but if the club wish to make shrewd, cost-efficient investments due to the financial impact of coronavirus on football, then Emi Buendia could be the man to target.

The Norwich City playmaker is likely to suffer relegation at the end of the season, and the Canaries could be hit quite dramatically by the current climate, meaning that an asset such as Buendia would have to be sold for cheaper than he's worth.

This season, the 23-year-old has been incredibly creative under the radar. He's posted seven assists so far, but crucially, he's generated 70 shot assists.

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Buendia is averaging 3.1 shot assists per 90, which is bettered by only Pascal Gross and Kevin De Bruyne based on those who have amassed at least 1,000 minutes on the field.

His numbers are boosted slightly because he takes set-pieces, but that also applies to Gross and De Bruyne. Silva, in comparison, is averaging 2.2 shot assists per 90.

Emi Buendia registers an assist against Leicester City

So what about the quality of those shot assists?

Expected Assists (xA) offers an insight into the quality of a shot assist by valuing it according to its likelihood to result in a goal.

Once analysing each Premier League player who has played at least 1,000 minutes, only De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez rank above Buendia for xA per 90, while Silva places 10th.

In terms of completed passes into the penalty box per 90, Buendia places 7th compared to Silva's 3rd.

Buendia registers an assist on the opening day of the season against Liverpool

The notable downside to Buendia's game is his lack of scoring threat, as he's failed to find the net all season, but he's somewhat similar to Silva in that regard and it's reasonable to suggest that if he was representing City, he'd have a few more goals to his name by this stage.

The young playmaker wouldn't be the most high-profile signature, but he'd offer much of Silva's probing and inventive threat when it comes to spotting opening and feeding teammates in positions from which they can score.




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