Manchester City made their first transfer of the summer window official, as AS Monaco agreed to ship attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva to the Etihad for £43.6 million.
Silva will officially join the Sky Blues on July 1st when the transfer window formally opens. City have been pursuing a raid of the current Monaco squad as they have been linked to Silva, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappé and Tiémoué Bakayoko since the Ligue 1 side played City in the knockout round of the Champions League.
Silva started in both matches of Monaco’s knockout round tie against City, and he has been a starter on the first team for the entire year. He scored eleven goals and assisted ten in all competitions last season.
Here’s an evaluation of City’s first move of the summer.
Originally, the fee was rumored to be in the range of £60-70 million, which would have easily broken City’s previous transfer record of £53 million for Kevin De Bruyne. Thankfully these rumors weren’t true, and the actual fee is only around £44 million.
However, this price still could be high considering his potential time on the pitch. In terms of next season, Silva will have to compete with the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané to earn a spot in the starting eleven.
Big fees can also put pressure on performance, as City fans saw with Raheem Sterling during his first season as a Citizen. However, he really gained confidence after breaking into the squad this season, and the same thing will hopefully happen with Silva.
There’s no question whether or not Silva is worthy of a move to the Etihad. He was one of Monaco’s key players in their title winning campaign, and he has been involved in transfer rumors with massive clubs all season.
In all competitions Silva averaged 1.5 shots, 1.5 key passes and 2 dribbles per game. City fans even got a first hand look at his ability when he bagged a crucial assist in the second leg of Monaco’s knockout round matchup with City.
Bernardo usually played as a right midfielder in Leonardo Jardim’s side, and Silva seems to fit well into Pep Guardiola’s system at City. As long as he gets enough playing time to prove himself, Silva could easily put up similar numbers and performances with City as he did with Monaco.
Yes, people will be skeptical of Silva when he arrives at the Etihad, as anyone with a £43.6 million fee will be under a tremendous spotlight. However, the Portuguese midfielder is only 22 and has already proven to be a world class talent.
Even if he is unable to find a spot in City’s starting eleven, Silva will definitely have plenty of resale value. He’s had no significant injury history, and he’s still far from his true prime, so there’s no doubt that Silva will have suitors if he can’t make his mark with City.
On the contrary, if Silva develops into a superstar at the Etihad, he will hopefully have quite a long career as a Citizen. Pep Guardiola is as good as any manager at molding potential into ability, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Silva stayed at the Etihad for a decade.
Overall, City’s first cash splash of the summer looks to hold merit, as the Sky Blues are bringing in a player with world class talent at a young age. If all goes well, Silva could become one of the best transfers in the summer window.