Bernardo Silva has found it hard to break through in Manchester City's loaded lineup, but when it's time for David Silva to make way, the Portuguese signing from Monaco can seamlessly take the baton.

By 90Min
December 18, 2017

Bernardo Silva is the 'bubble gum player,' as dubbed by his former Monaco and current Manchester City teammate Benjamin Mendy, such is his unerring ability to run with the ball as if it was stuck to his foot. 

The 23-year-old lit up Ligue 1 with Monaco last season, scoring eight goals and assisting nine more as he helped the French side beat Paris Saint-Germain to the title, consequently earning a £43.6 million move to Manchester alongside Mendy as the title winners' squad had its stars cherry picked by Europe's top sides. 

While the likes of Kylian Mbappe went to PSG and Tiemoue Bakayoko signed for Chelsea, Pep Guardiola plumped for the little Portuguese midfielder to add to his juggernaut squad, although the former Barcelona boss has found it hard to include the Benfica academy graduate from the first whistle given the quality he has at his disposal. 

The scintillating form of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo's namesake David has meant that the other Silva has had to settle for just four starts and 12 appearances off the bench for the Premier League leaders, but his immense talents should not be disputed. 

Guardiola has stated himself that it is 'tough to overlook' the midfielder in his team selections, but David Silva's 31 years of age suggest that the City hierarchy had the future in mind when they poached one of Monaco's most precocious talents, but what a future the boy from Lisbon will have. 

The two Silva's have scarily similar qualities. Both possess impeccable balance which allows them to go either way they please past their opponents, they both have exceptional dribbling skills, but most importantly, they both have their decision making nailed down.

Introducing SPORTS ILLUSTRATED TV, your new home for classic sports movies, award-winning documentaries and original sports programming such as Planet Futbol TV, SI TV’s weekly soccer show. Start your seven-day free trial now on Amazon Channels.

When David was Bernardo's age, he had just come off the back of a stellar domestic campaign with Valencia in which he scored ten and supplied a further 10 for his teammates, while also playing a cameo role in his country's World Cup victory. 

In contrast, Bernardo had been left out of his nation's European Championship victory due to injury, although he undoubtedly would've played a key role should he have been fit, but that's besides the point; he is the future of this City side and should be allowed to carve his own path.

Seeing as the Spanish Silva turns 32 in January, Guardiola would be wise to slowly ease the Portuguese namesake into his position, although he is capable of playing in a number of positions. Bernardo can operate on either wing, behind the striker or a deep lying playmaker, but is most effective coming off the right wing where he can cut in on his left to devastating effect. 

Having invested a lot in young players of late, such as Gabriel Jesus, Sterling, Sane, Mendy and Silva of course, City look set to dominate the European scene for many years to come, and amid all the immense capabilities of the aforementioned names, Bernardo may be the glue (or maybe the bubble gum) that holds them together.

You May Like