What’s better than one David Silva?
Having two effortless creators directing your orchestra of attacking football, of course.
Only at Man City one of them is named Bernardo rather than David.
If any City fans (yes, they do exist) were worrying that time may be pressing on for their Spanish playmaker, there is a fellow Iberian wizard that is ready to step into his silk shoes.
David Silva has been a stalwart at the Etihad for the best part of a decade, at the heart of everything good about City and in with a shout of being the club’s greatest ever player.
He’s made nearly 400 appearances for the club, scored 70 goals himself and won eight major trophies – he’ll go down in City folklore.
However, now 33, it could be time for him to pass the baton to his Portuguese imitator.
As brilliant as David Silva is, Bernardo has been the key creator for City and he has Pep Guardiola eating out of his palm right now.
His potent mix of vision, magnetic touch and inspiration was way too hot for Fulham to handle yesterday as he ran the show and he’s become too good to not be in the star-studded 11 this year.
“What Bernardo has done this season is a consequence of the way he accepts his role,” said Guardiola.
“He works so hard and the rewards are there. Right now with the way he plays I cannot do anything else but put him on the pitch and let him play.
“He’s so important for us. What he’s done for us is the best.”
In the same way David has mastered the art of find gaps in seemingly impossible spaces, Bernardo has his own Harry Houdini impression to leave defenders wondering what happened.
He has buzzed about on the right wing this term, bringing everything you could want in attack and showing a huge willingness to put in the defensive shift necessary for Guardiola’s complex system.
In January he set a Premier League record for distance covered during a game when he ran a herculean 13.7km against Liverpool… Breaking his own record.
When Kevin De Bruyne was sidelined for a long portion of the season Bernardo stepped up to provide cover in midfield and soon became undroppable, even with KDB returning.
He started the season with an assist against Chelsea and a goal against Arsenal and then he set up two more goals in the Manchester derby in November.
He’s scored six league and provided seven assists this year, but much like Merlin himself, Bernardo’s best work is in the lead-up to goals rather than the final ball, the hockey assist if you will.
With David Silva turning 34 next season it is only natural that City will look to his successor to carry the torch.
Luckily for Guardiola, they might have the closest thing you can get to Silva without actually cloning him.
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