Italy Serie A

Life after David Silva not such a harrowing prospect at City

MANCHESTER, England (AP) David Silva's place in the pantheon of great Manchester City players is secure. For many, "Merlin" - as he is nicknamed by his teammates because of midfield wizardry - might be right at the top.

Yet there have been signs this season that, at age 33 and after nine years at Etihad Stadium, his powers are on the wane.

Fortunately for a club that is on track to retain the EnglishPremier League title, there are two players seemingly ready to slot into Silva's long-held position as the creative heartbeat of City's team. Both have their best years ahead of them, too.