David Silva formed a deadly partnership with Kevin De Bruyne last season that powered Manchester City to a league double. With the Belgian sidelined as a result of injury this time around, another Silva, Bernardo, has stepped up and is partnering the Spaniard to devastating effect. Is this a silver lining for a triumphant season home and abroad?
Man City was expected to continue last season’s heroics this season. So far, the blue army has not disappointed. Kevin De Bruyne stole the headlines last term as the main man with David Silva acting as his partner in crime. Together the duo tormented the opposition with a slick passing game that starved the opposition midfield of the ball while creating goal-scoring chances aplenty for the Sky Blues.
Bernardo Silva played a limited role as he understudied his namesake. The 24-year-old was brought in as the heir to his older teammate’s throne. He took his lessons well and is proving this season that he has mastered the ropes. He has now become his reliable partner in City’s midfield. The Portuguese showed signs of what was to come this term right from pre-season. His performance was top notch thereby forcing his way into Pep Guardiola’s starting XI. He has not looked back since.
In a campaign where minutes have been hard to come by for many of Guardiola’s first team members as he has rotated the squad, Bernardo has been ever present. The former Monaco number 10 has featured in all of City’s Premier League and Champions League games this term. His speed, agility and skill on the ball have made him a real asset in the team. He contributes effectively to City’s defensive and attacking game. That is what makes him so valuable.
Upfront, not only does he set up his teammates to find the net, he also puts away chances. He has contributed eight goals to City’s course so far by scoring three goals and setting up another three in the league while netting another two in the Champions League.
However, the older Silva has been rolling back the years. The Spaniard has been Mr Reliable for the Sky Blues. He has been in top form. With seven goals to his name and two assists in 14 matches, he is one of the best performing players for City this season. The highlights of his performance this term have been his outstanding output in the Champions League and leadership on the pitch.
He combined with Bernardo to open the scoring in the recent derby against Manchester United to set City on the way to a deserved 3-1 win. The win maintained the unbeaten run in the league this season and returned the Sky Blues to the top of the table.
So far, the Silva combination has been awesome for City. But even if the duo play one after another when De Bruyne returns, either one of them is capable of providing that magical touch that will rescue the team in difficult situations. A perfect example is the Spaniard’s late strike that produced a last gasp winner against Hoffenheim in the Champions League to secure City’s first win in the competition last month.
One can only wonder if the results gotten from their partnership will help the club conquer not only the Premier League but Europe as well.