Over the summer, Manchester City fans were hit with the news that the current season will be David Silva’s final one with the club.
The 33-year-old is in his tenth Premier League campaign before embarking on another adventure, and for most teams it would be a tough task to replace someone who has been a key factor in their rise to the summit of English football.
Pep Guardiola’s side were the early favourites to take out another Premier League title with the betting tips experts, thanks in large part to their squad depth which allows them to seamlessly move forward without skipping a beat.
Pablo Zabaleta left the Etihad Stadium for West Ham United in 2017 after nine seasons at City and was replaced by Kyle Walker, while Vincent Kompany’s departure to become player manager at Anderlecht gives an opportunity for John Stones to cement as spot as a first choice centre back alonside Aymeric Laporte.
When David Silva heads back to Spain or opts for a nice pay cheque in the Middle East, City have already filled the gap with a player who was one of the standout performers in their 2018/19 Premier League title triumph.
Playmaker Bernardo Silva is only in his third season at the club and already has two league winners medals to his name, as well as two League Cups, one FA Cup and a Community Shield.
Signed from AS Monaco for £43.5 million in 2017, Bernardo has mostly been deployed in wide positions for City due to the array of options at Guardiola’s disposal for the central spots.
As well as David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, and Fabian Delph have played in the middle of the park and Bernardo’s versatility has seen him utilised as part of a front three alongside Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero for the most part.
In his 100 appearances to date for City, Bernardo has contributed 22 goals and 23 assists, and in March this year he was rewarded with a new long-term contract that will keep him in Manchester until 2025.
“As soon as I heard City wanted me to stay longer, my mind was made up,” he said.
“I love the club, the manager, the players and the fans. The style of football we play here excites me, and I am determined to win more trophies. City gives me the best chance of doing that.”
Bernardo isn’t just excelling at club level; the 24-year-old played a key role in Portugal’s recent UEFA Nations League triumph as they overcame Switzerland and the Netherlands.
While Cristiano Ronaldo continues to make most of the headlines, there is now a more than capable supporting cast around him which is led by Bernardo who registered an assist in both games.
Off the field, Bernardo’s social media game is strong and his cheeky nature has made him a fan favourite in a short space of time.
However, a recent post about team-mate Benjamin Mendy and its racist connotations saw the Portuguese banned for one match by the Football Association (FA).
When David Silva departs, it’s inevitable that Bernardo will step up to the challenge and become one of City’s most important players from a central position with youngster Phil Foden also moving up the pecking order.
Hot prospect Foden is just 19 years of age but has already seen first team action and his game is benefiting massively from the education his receiving from the two Silvas.
Even with the loss of David Silva, don’t expect City’s creativity to diminish any time soon.