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Bernardo Silva is the most improved player in the Premier League this season

FC Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Group F
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Bernardo Silva established himself as one of the most important players for Pep Guardiola in his Manchester City side this season and we would like to talk about him in this article.

Bernardo Silva is a product of Benfica’s youth system. He joined the club’s Academy in 2002 and made his debut for Benfica B on his 19th birthday.

His good performance for Benfica B in the 2013–14 Segunda Liga earned him the league’s Breakthrough Player of the Year award.

Bernardo has played only one game for the club’s senior team, before joining AS Monaco in 2014. He spent his first season in France as a loaned player but in January 2015 Monaco agreed to play €15.75 million to Benfica and signed the talented 20-year old on a permanent contract.

Silva was a vital part of the team that stopped PSG’s dominance in France in 2017. He scored eight goals and noted 11 assists in the league, and together with Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao, led Monaco to the Ligue 1 title.

He moved to Manchester City later that summer in a £43 million deal and won the Premier League and the League Cup in his first season.

It is fair to say that Bernardo wasn’t Pep’s first choice in the league, as the Portuguese has played a total of 1519 minutes last season, which is an average of 40 minutes per game.

However, his role in City’s side has changed over this campaign. Silva used the absence of Kevin de Bruyne to establish himself as one of the finest midfielders in the Premier League.

Bernardo has appeared in 28 league matches and spent 2198 minutes on the pitch so far, which is already for one third better than his record from the last season.

He scored five goals and provided seven assists, as Manchester City fight Liverpool in their bid to defend the Premier League title.

His technique and his vision are amazing, while his work-rate might be his biggest asset. Bernardo’s versatility, too, adds to his allure. He has occupied four different roles already this season, playing on the left and right of a front three, as a No. 10 and as a more traditional central midfielder.

Guardiola was full of praise for his 24-year old midfielder saying: “He has absolutely everything. First, because he’s a lovely person, I love to work with him, especially because he never makes a bad face if he doesn’t play or plays five, 10 or 20 minutes like last season, always a big smile.

“In the locker room, he’s the guy who’s the most beloved in our team, and his skills… he can do absolutely everything, he’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen in my career as a manager or a player.

“He’s always an eight or nine (out of 10). He knows when he doesn’t play well it doesn’t matter because he runs the most. I think maybe this season he’s one of the two or three best players in the Premier League.”

Pep has finally found his “Iniesta” type of player in Manchester City, as his team is on the way to historic Quadruple this season.