Jump directly to the content
SILVA LINING

Bernardo Silva is one of the most underrated players in Europe because of Man City’s incredible depth

Bernardo Silva (£2.7m) has simultaneously been a key contributor to Man City’s domestic dominance and a semi-peripheral figure.

And it’s this contradiction that makes him one of Europe’s most underrated players.

Most teams would be built around the Portuguese midfielder, a player with technical quality, energetic tenacity, a world-class first touch, and a surplus of what many would call ‘football IQ’.

However, such is the star-studded nature of City’s squad, Bernardo has intermittently been pushed out of the spotlight in recent years and warmed his fair share of benches.

Simultaneously appreciated and overlooked

getty
3
Simultaneously appreciated and overlooked

2018/19 was his best season, as recognised the fact he was voted as the club’s Player of Year – he played nearly 3,000 minutes in the league that campaign.

He has played roughly 2,000 minutes in the league in each of the last two seasons with the likes of Riyad Mahrez (£5.4m) and Phil Foden (£5.5m) muscling in on his turf, so to speak.

This reduction has caused his stock to drop even though most informed fans would still recognise his enduring quality, albeit amid a blip in personal form that wasn’t helped by the uncertainty of his role.

Guardiola has openly heaped huge praise on Bernardo ever since the latter switched Monaco for Manchester in 2017 and yet the decorated tactician admitted during the summer that the 27-year-old may be sold.

Despite what they may claim, Man City are not a club that sell players they don’t consider surplus to requirements.

Bernardo is said to be keen on a move himself, realising that he would be the main man for 99% of the other clubs in Europe.

The absurdity of his status as a rotation/back-up player, as he has been for the last two years, is perhaps the most striking example of the depth of talent Guardiola has at his disposal.

Bernardo features in just 3% of Dream Teams

getty
3
Bernardo features in just 3% of Dream Teams

And Bernardo’s immensely impressive form this season has only underlined his oft-overlooked attributes.

He was ‘magnificent’ (Guardiola’s own description) against Liverpool before the international break and arguably even better against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the week previous.

Granted, he produced an inexplicable miss against PSG in the Champions League that will undoubtedly feature in copyright-breaching YouTube montages for years to come but his overall performances in recent weeks have served as a reminder of his qualities.

Whether City chiefs will endeavour to retain his services as a consequence remains to be seen.

It seems inexplicable that no club jumped at the opportunity to sign him when he was seemingly available during the summer – though we can only guess at the conversations that occur behind closed doors.

How long will Bernardo’s latest purple patch last before he’s relegated to the bench again?

getty
3
How long will Bernardo’s latest purple patch last before he’s relegated to the bench again?

It’s possible that Bernardo is even being underrated by Dream Team gaffers.

He currently features in just 3% of teams despite costing just £2.7m and having established himself as one of the league’s most in-form players in recent weeks.

His points tally of 21 is respectable if not a little modest but his displays hint at the potential for some serious returns now that City’s fixtures are more favourable again.

Cash in while he’s in favour… you never know how long it’ll last.