Silva backs Tevez, lauds Aguero
David Silva has welcomed Carlos Tevez's return to Manchester City and backed the Argentinian to play a key role in the Premier League title race. Silva met Tevez at the training ground this morning as the process of reintegrating the forward into the club's first-team squad began.
Manager Roberto Mancini said yesterday Tevez could be back playing in two or three weeks after accepting an apology from the 28-year-old for his recent conduct. Tevez's immediate task is now to recover match-fitness after returning from his unauthorised three-month break in Argentina.
Silva said: "I just saw him this morning for the first time at training. I just wished him all the very best before he left. He was a very important player for us. If he is back with us, then perfect.
"Carlos is a great player, and if he is physically fit he would be a very good player to have. But it will be down to the coaches and the technical team to decide who plays and who doesn't."
Tevez has not played for City since refusing to warm up during the infamous UEFA Champions League loss to Bayern Munich in September. He reported back to the club last week after failing to secure a move in the January transfer window. He was given his own fitness programme, but his apology earlier this week has opened up a route back into training with the first team.
Tevez has been the club's top scorer in each of the past two seasons and has struck 52 times in 91 games since his arrival from Manchester United. He was also the inspirational captain behind last year's FA Cup success - City's first trophy in 35 years - and increases striking options that already include Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli.
Silva expects him to fit straight back in. The 26-year-old said: "Carlos has shown before he has great character and determination, and for someone like him it would be easier to get into form than for others.
"It is very important to have those four great strikers with us. It makes it easier for the people playing behind them. We all know they are great players and it could be an important factor to help us win the title race."
Silva hails 'fantastic' Aguero
Aguero was the chief inspiration as City powered into the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League at the Etihad Stadium last night, thrashing Porto 4-0 to complete a 6-1 aggregate success.
Tevez's fellow Argentinian struck after just 18 seconds and then hit the bar later in the first half. He set up the second goal for Edin Dzeko 14 minutes from time and then made way for David Pizarro, who created a third for Silva and struck himself after Porto saw Rolando sent off.
Silva said: "The tie was in our favour at the start of the match, but it was obvious we would have to sit back and counter-attack, wait for them. We did and we did it well.
"Aguero is a great player. There is not much more you can say about him. He is just fantastic."