I ran out of superlatives for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League last season. The Citizens broke record after record on their way to coasting to the English top-flight title. While the likes of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne grabbed the headlines, Portuguese attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva was a peripheral figure.
Not regarded as a starter
Ironically, only goalkeeper Ederson and influential central midfielder Kevin De Bruyne made more appearances for City last season. However, due to Guardiola’s rotation policy and the number of options available to the City boss Silva was not always in the starting line-up.
He featured in 35 of the Citizens 38 top-flight games last season. However, 20 of those appearances were from the substitute bench. His return of six goals and four assists in his debut Premier League campaign was not terrible considering his fractured campaign.
Guardiola is a big fan of Silva’s
Despite his lack of regular first-team starts, it seems that City boss Guardiola is a big fan of the Portugal international. The former Barcelona coach even state after City’s Community Shield win over Chelsea that his team was Silva and ten other players for the first game of the Premier League campaign against Arsenal at the weekend.
An even bigger vote of confidence came when Guardiola revealed that as long as he was boss Bernardo Silva would be at the club, whilst also praising his positive demeanour around the club.
Silva is obviously the City boss’ sort of player. He is versatile, technically gifted, and intelligent and has tremendous work rate. On many levels, he is any bosses sort of player, as he seems to have all the main attributes to become a top player in the future.
Set to become a bigger influence this season
The big-money summer arrival of Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez from Leicester could have been regarded as a move that may push Silva down the pecking order of the City attacking midfielders.
However, the fact the boss is talking about the former Monaco star in such glowing terms suggests that Silva will be a much bigger influence in the Citizens team this season.
The fact that he started both the Community Shield and opening Premier League game of the campaign also suggests that Silva will enjoy far more first-team football this season. Silva had a big impact of both of those games, contributing to goals in both games.
The fact that namesake David Silva is likely to play fewer games for the Citizens, despite his recent international retirement could see the Portuguese international make more starts for City this season.
I get the feeling that Guardiola was maybe breaking Silva into the English top-flight gently with the lack of starts for the 24-year-old. However, this could be a big season in the career of Bernardo Silva, as he attempts to move out the shadow of some of the Citizens more high profile stars.
Could this be the season for Bernardo Silva to shine at Manchester City?