sport news 'Down to earth' David Silva is thriving in his role as a mentor at Real Sociedad

sport news 'Down to earth' David Silva is thriving in his role as a mentor at Real Sociedad
sport news 'Down to earth' David Silva is thriving in his role as a mentor at Real Sociedad

Alexander Isak is holed away in an office deep inside Real Sociedad's Zubieta training base when he leans back in his chair to ponder a question from Sportsmail.

Just how influential has the arrival of a 35-year-old David Silva been in breeding a winning mentality?

Many in Imanol Alguacil's squad find themselves 25 and under and in Silva, an elder statesman who helped build the Manchester City juggernaut many see today, La Real picked up a diamond.

David Silva is excelling as the elder statesman of this young and thriving Real Sociedad team

David Silva is excelling as the elder statesman of this young and thriving Real Sociedad team

La Real's passionate supporters are dreaming of a first top-flight title going back 40 years

La Real's passionate supporters are dreaming of a first top-flight title going back 40 years

Isak, just 22, looks across to team-mate Alexander Sorloth, also sat in on this chat, before trying to find the words to sum up Silva.

'I wouldn't say he surprised me because I think we all knew the level he had and what he could provide for the team,' the Swedish striker said.

'It is really nice to see the way he works and how professional he is with the team.

'He is very down to earth, so all of us can learn a lot from a player like that.'

Sociedad finished fifth last season to win a spot in the Europa League; the challenge this year is to go one better and crack that top four.

For Sorloth, Silva will be key in guiding this side, sat second ahead of Sunday's visit to Espanyol, back into the Champions League for the first time since 2013.

'He sets an example,' Sorloth explains.

'In his work and in his games you can see he is so calm on the ball all the time, it is like he has all the time in the world, especially in tight spaces.

'For me it has been really good to see his work ethic - he still looks hungry.'

Silva, 35, boasts bags of experience and returned to Spain to bring his winning mentality

Silva, 35, boasts bags of experience and returned to Spain to bring his winning mentality

Young stars like Alexander Isak (left) and Alexander Sorloth (right) both spoke highly of Silva

Young stars like Alexander Isak (left) and Alexander Sorloth (right) both spoke highly of Silva

In defeat to Monaco seven of the starting 11 are 26 and under and Silva is the steady hand at the tiller that helps slow the game down and allow La Real to dictate the pace.

Silva will miss Sunday's meeting with Espanyol with a muscular injury picked up in Thursday's Europa League defeat to Monaco but his work is as vital off the pitch as it is on it.

Since the turn of millennium, Silva has 15 domestic trophies to his name. Sociedad have two, one of which came with the midfielder famously nicknamed 'Merlin' during his days in East Manchester.

Both Isak and Sorloth are reluctant to get swept

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