'He is fighting day by day' - David Silva reveals absence down to premature birth of son
David Silva has revealed that he missed much of Manchester City’s Christmas programme because of the premature birth of his son, whom, he said, was “fighting day by day”.
The City midfielder was granted compassionate leave to return home to Spain to be with his family last month and missed the games against Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.
Silva returned to England to play in City’s 3-1 win over Watford on Tuesday but it has now emerged that his partner, Yessica Suarez Gonzalez, has given birth to Mateo, who is requiring specialist medical attention.
In a statement, Silva said: “I want to thank all of you for the love and good wishes received in the last few weeks, special thanks to my team-mates, the manager and all at the club for understanding my situation.
“Also I want to share with you the birth of my son Mateo, who was born extremely preterm and is fighting day by day with the help of the medical team.”
Pep Guardiola said after the Watford win that Silva was “free” to return to Spain whenever he chose after stressing the importance of family over football.
Silva could now miss Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at home to Burnley.
“He wants to stay because he enjoys it a lot, but family is the most important thing in life,” the City manager said.
“It doesn’t matter if we drop a lot of points because he is not here. I will never push him. Some days, he will be here, some he will be out, it depends how his family is.”
City supporters gave Silva a rapturous reception against Watford, when the Spaniard impressed in the club’s 20th league win of the campaign. Kevin De Bruyne had dedicated his goal in City’s 4-1 win over Spurs last month to Silva by raising his fingers to denote the numbers two and one in reference to the Spaniard’s No 21 shirt. (© Daily Telegraph, London)