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Premier League 2018-19: Bernardo Silva, a key performer in this Manchester City team

ANALYST
Feature
862   //    23 Nov 2018, 18:00 IST


The two Silva's have been simply outstanding alongside Fernandinho thus far in the season
The two Silva's have been simply outstanding alongside Fernandinho thus far in the season

When we watch this Manchester City team, it is hard to not be in awe of the quality that they have from back to front throughout the squad.

The quality in depth makes it difficult for manager Pep Guardiola to make some decisions going from game to game, the option of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez to play wide, Sergio Aguero or Gabriel Jesus to lead the line.

But what might be the hardest call for the remainder of the campaign will be the combination of players he uses in the midfield trio alongside Fernandinho.

This season there were some question marks over how the Manchester City team would cope without the influential De Bruyne after his stand out season last year, guiding this team to Premier League glory.

However, this season it must be said that the replacement Guardiola has used in the absence of the Belgian has been nothing short of superb and perhaps in the scheme of how we rave of this Manchester City side slightly underrated, Bernardo Silva.

The Portugal play-maker was signed during the summer of 2017 from AS Monaco after helping the French giants to Ligue 1 success, a fee of 43.5 million was the estimated cost Man City paid for Silva, which has to be said in today's market looks an absolute steal.

His time at Monaco has seen the Portuguese midfielder shine in a team that earned credit from fans and media across Europe.

Silva was instrumental in this side, his ability on the ball was clear to see and Manchester City and Guardiola witnessed this first hand in the Champions League round of 16 defeat at the hands of Monaco in 2017.


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Bernardo Silva put in a performance of the highest quality, his movement and low centre of gravity to glide past players made the Manchester City very open and they simply could not cope with him.


Bernardo Silva got Man City's attention with his performances against them in 2017
Bernardo Silva got Man City's attention with his performances against them in 2017

Last season we saw the quality of Bernardo Silva in spells, making 20 appearances of his appearances in the Premier League from the substitutes bench, and taking up the position on the wide right of the Manchester City attack.

Now, however, it feels like we are seeing Bernardo Silva in his position and in his future position with David Silva reaching the latter stages of his career.

The Spanish playmaker David Silva is earning plaudits week in week out currently, and rightly so, however, the work of Bernardo Silva complimenting his holding midfielder Fernandinho and linking the play from defence to the front is what is making this Manchester City side look unbeatable currently.

The Portuguese international when he is in possession rarely gives the ball away, starting off key moves for the team, and also contributing with three assists himself this season, one off the total he had for the entirety of last season.

Bernardo Silva's work and press from high up the pitch has been key for Manchester City turning over possession this season, with a tackle success rate of 81%, this is impressive figures for a player playing inside, having spent the majority of his career thus far playing from a wide area, his tackle success last season was 67%, this shows the improvement he has made in this area.

With Kevin De Bruyne expected to be out until early December with his knee injury, the role of Bernardo Silva will not be expecting to change, he will continue to play at the highest of standards alongside namesake David Silva.

A pleasant headache for manager Guardiola will be when he has the brilliant De Bruyne to pick from, will he just drop the club's number 20 to the bench again or revert him to a wide position, as this would be considered highly unlucky from the point of view of Bernardo Silva.

The option to look at De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva centrally could be a look into the future of the club as the qualities of both Silva's is extremely similar and built in the same manner, in terms of height, the ability to beat players, to keep possession, to press high, to make challenges, and the ability to see that killer pass.


The injury suffered to De Bruyne has hampered his season
The injury suffered to De Bruyne has hampered his season

Bernardo Silva has been a revelation for Manchester City this season up to now, he has been fantastic to watch and is a player that I would consider to have gone under the radar slightly in the opening months of the season.

If he keeps his performance levels up then Guardiola will have no option but to keep him in the starting eleven despite having such strength and depth. the big games have not been an issue for former Monaco man, he has kept a defensive discipline when he has had to and drops deeper better than both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

A joy to watch and the hope is to continue seeing the young play-maker thriving in this City team this season.

Stats taken from Premier League.com

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