Bernardo Silva: A Forgotten Man? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Bernardo Silva: A Forgotten Man?

Sports writer Sam Robinson discusses Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and his lack of appearances so far this season.

349 minutes is not a long time in football. Not that long when you consider Vincent Kompany has amounted 360 in just four appearances so far this season. With a World Cup in Russia looming large only six months away, one of Europe’s most promising young talents from last season looks set to miss out on a place in the Portugal squad. With another lacklustre performance from Bernardo Silva in Europe, it seems time may be running out for both club and country.

Silva has found opportunities few and far between without garnering all that much attention from either City fans or the media. The 23-year-old Portuguese playmaker, bought for £43.6 million back in May, had only completed 90 minutes once this season, the 3-0 dismantling of Burnley back in October. It perhaps seems a little odd that more has not been made of his less than accomplished start to life at Eastlands.

The 23-year-old Portuguese playmaker, bought for £43.6 million back in May, had only completed 90 minutes once this season

The return of the Champions League saw Manchester City labour to a below-par 1-0 win at home to Feyenoord. The 23-year-old Portuguese playmaker, bought for £43.6 million back in May, was offered a rare start and an invaluable chance to prove himself against relatively inferior opposition. To be fair to Silva, playing on the right, he looked comfortable with the fluidity and freedom of a Guardiola formation, drifting inside and penetrating the defensive midfield with relative ease. That said, the final ball continually proved elusive against a very ordinary opposition.

Although at opposite ends of their careers, Bernardo Silva’s current City career trajectory somewhat echoes that of Nolito’s – who came and left for Sevilla only a season before. While Silva has the considerable benefit of only being 23, the manner in which Nolito’s bit-part performances rapidly lead to him becoming the forgotten man should sound a note of caution to the young playmaker.

How exactly will Guardiola fit Silva, Silva, De Bruyne, Sané, Sterling, Aguero, and Jesus all in the same team?

It may be the case that Manchester City are simply too good this season to warrant Bernardo Silva in the starting line-up. Upon his arrival in Manchester, it did seem that the main question being asked was: how exactly will Guardiola fit Silva, Silva, De Bruyne, Sané, Sterling, Aguero, and Jesus all in the same team? The reality is that he has not done anything to warrant starting in front of any of those and – in a game which saw Yaya Toure roll back the years and amble through midfield posing a relative threat – a promising performance is just not enough.

At this point in the season, it is all far too early to assume that City are home and dry. Guardiola’s side will most likely hit a run of poor form – or at the very least they might not be quite as scintillating as they have been so far this season. In this instance, Bernardo Silva will need to rediscover the kind of performance that saw him play an integral role in Monaco’s title victory and European charge – they were the highest scoring side in Europe’s top five divisions. No one should doubt he has it in him; he just has to step up to the plate the next time Guardiola comes calling.

Article by Sam Robertson



Published

3rd December 2017 at 11:00 am



Images from

Кирилл Венедиктов



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