Adrian Clarke selects the players who have caught his eye in 2018/19 so far.
Since the turn of the year Silva's displays have elevated him from a bit-part player to a key man for Manchester City.
Excellence across the pitch
Like the Belgian, this gifted 24-year-old offers technical excellence and versatility.
He is comfortable in a number of positions, occupying four different roles this term.
While he is at his best in a deeper right-midfield slot, usually within a 4-3-3, Silva also proved last weekend against Liverpool that he can shine as an orthodox central midfielder.
Forming a partnership with Fernandinho, Silva adapted his game really well.
Silva in different roles
|2018/19||Right mid||Right fwd||No 10||Centre mid|
One aspect of Silva's make-up that is overlooked is his workrate.
In the six appearances he has featured for the full 90 minutes this season, he has covered the most distance of any City player. This is no mean feat in a side who work incredibly hard from back to front.
He is always on the move, looking to operate at a fast tempo, and has an uplifting effect on his team-mates.
Part of this is down to aggression, too. Silva may be small in stature, but packs a punch in the tackle; winning nine of his 11 challenges this season.
Silva's best quality is his left foot.
He scored a fine first-time effort at Arsenal on the opening weekend and has carved out wonderful opportunities for team-mates with the same foot.
The key now is for him to be a little more selfish inside the final third, using his left foot to punish teams more often.
Where Silva ranks at City
|Chances created from open play||12||3|
|Shots on target||5||5=|
|Touches in opposition box||33||4=|
Starting seven of City's eight PL matches, he has made a huge step forward this term.
And as his confidence grows further, that output will only improve.
Can he retain a regular place once De Bruyne is fully fit? In this form he will be a difficult man to leave out of the side.
Tomorrow: Standout players of 2018/19: Callum Wilson
Also in this series
Part 1: Standout players of 2018/19: Lukasz Fabianski
Part 2: Standout players of 2018/19: Jose Holebas
Part 3: Standout players of 2018/19: David Luiz
Part 4: Standout players of 2018/19: Lucas Torreira