New Telegraph


A move away from the Etihad Stadium looked certain for Bernado Silva at the start of the season following the arrival of 100 million Jack Grealish but after 18 league matches, the Portuguese has become the most important player in Pep Guardiola star-studded side. Guardiola’s men are leading the chart in the EPL with Bernando’s contribution largely accounting for the edge the Citizens have had in the hot race for the league title.

City is a squad of stars and it is important to state that Guardiola is fortunate in that sense; Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling, and Kevin De Bruyne have been untouchable in the team in the past, now, Bernardo is the talisman. Honestly, if not for Mohamed Salah’s impeccable runs, it is hard to think of any player who is better than the Portugal international at the moment.

Over the course of the year, Bernardo has gone from strength to strength, especially this season, with him adapting outstandingly well to a new central-midfield role. He has become a mainstay in Guardiola’s thinking, just months after an exit looked certain due to concerns about a lack of game time. He has scored seven goals in 22 appearances in all competitions. He has already scored more goals this season than he managed in the whole of the 2020/21 campaign and has started all but one of City’s 18 Premier League games so far this term. “He is the best,” said Guardiola. “He was the best two or three seasons ago. He was the best then too.

He has a special ability to do whatever he wants with the ball. “You have to go back to when we won with 98 points, review the videos, you will see the same player like this right now.” Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves corroborated the City’s Manager’s view on the Portuguese when he said: “If Mo Salah wasn’t playing almost Michael Jordan-esque then that just tells you how great Bernardo Silva has been.

Probably can play five positions as good as each other. I just think he’s the perfect Pep player. “In possession he’s great, but he’s the modern number 10 because number 10s back in the day — Mesut Ozil and Coutinho — took a lot of time off out of possession. “Bernardo Silva presses the ball like Kante, that’s how good he is. His finishing has been off the charts.” He was unplayable against Newcastle and their next opponents Leicester City may have to contain him to be able to get anything away from the tie at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

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