Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness was high in praise for Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, imaginging the Portuguese star as a dream to work with.
Silva is perhaps one of the more under-appreciated players in Man City’s squad, often falling behind the likes of Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden when it comes to praise. The Portuguese midfielder has started all but one of Man City’s Premier League matches so far this season, and the past 10 in a row having been an unused substitute in the opening weekend defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
In those 10 appearances Silva has almost always started as part of the midfield trio, where he has made his home having previously been seen as a winger at Man City. To start 10 consecutive league matches in a Pep Guardiola side should be seen as a feat, with the Catalan boss always happy to rotate his sides given the depth of his squad.
In the Premier League alone, Silva has three goals and one assist so far this season, scoring in wins over Leicester City and Burnley (the former being the only goal of the game), and the Manchester Derby against Manchester United. He also set up Ilkay Gundogan in Man City’s 4-1 victory against Brighton.
But the Portuguese midfielder is about more than just the goals, being the quiet cog in helping Man City progress up the pitch both in passing and with the ball at his feet. And Souness believes you know exactly what kind of performance you’ll be getting from Silva every week.
“You look at them on a Saturday morning or a Friday afternoon, you think what am I going to get tomorrow from them, what am I going to get today from them,” he said prior to the Manchester Derby.
“You know what you’re getting from him. He is rock solid, you know he’s going to run further than anyone in most games. You know that, for a little fella, put his foot in to try and get the ball back.
“He presses with great enthusiasm, he’s got delivery, he can dribble, get out of tight areas as Liverpool players can testify. I just think he’s fantastic as a midfield player.
“And I’d imagine, he’s a dream to work with. I think he’d be the first on the training ground and the last to leave.”
The goal against Man Utd on Saturday afternoon was Silva’s third in this fixture, all of which have come at Old Trafford including two in the Premier League. In the first half alone, Silva completed four take-ons, with the rest of the players on the pitch managing five combined. He contributed to half of Man City’s take-ons while Scott McTominay was the only Man Utd player to complete a take-on in the opening 45 minutes.
Bernardo Silva completed more take-ons than any other player in the first half at Old Trafford:
◉ 02' vs. Fred
◉ 10' vs. Fred
◉ 10' vs. Fred
◉ 38' vs. Fred
Flawless Victory. 💀 pic.twitter.com/kLW1xB44bq
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 6, 2021