The shift of position for Bernardo Silva at Manchester City that took him to the top

With Kevin De Bruyne’s injury issues haunting him time and again since the Euros, the City team looked destined to be without their main playmaker. Already striker-less, City could have struggled to be where they are right now. But one man, one little magician who carries the same name of City’s own El Mago, stepped up in place of the Belgian. The man had done the same in City’s title-winning season of 18-19. That man is none other than the Portuguese “Bubblegum”, as his teammates call him, Bernardo Silva. He has come out on top and has been City’s best player this season. Let’s go through his resurgence to the epitome of footballing brilliance.

(Credit: whoscored.com)

The Traditional Role

Bernardo came to City as a right-winger from AS Monaco but over the years, Pep has transformed him into a lethal weapon capable of playing all over the attacking third. In the presence of Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo slots into the midfield in a traditional number 8 role. He provides overlapping runs and defends as well with his high work rate. Bernardo also plays on the right-wing in the Belgian’s presence providing space for the right back to run into. Even though he’s an attacker, his presence can be found all over the pitch. His touch map this season while playing his traditional role shows him to be defending, holding the midfield and attacking in the opponent’s box all in the same match.

(Credit: The Athletic)

The Free-Roaming Resurgence

Ever since KDB has been struggling with injuries, Bernardo has filled in for him and taken up his free-roaming role. This role gives him the freedom to showcase his attacking brilliance and is very similar to the role he had in the 18-19 season when KDB spent the majority of the season on the sidelines.

In this role, he gets the attacking freedom to create, to make darting runs in the box and to rule the tempo of the game (no offence to the tempo setter Thiago Alacantra tho). Bilva has already notched 7 goals in the Premier League this season which is equal to the total tally of the 18-19 season. He has the versatility to play on the left as well as the right side of the pitch. With his close control, silky smooth touch and impeccable dribbling skills, Bernardo Silva has become a force to be reckoned with.

(Credit: Total Football Analysis)

While City is attacking, Bernardo slots into the False nine role along with the wingers and the second attacking midfielder, much like Ilkay Gundogan did last season. His attacking intelligence helps him create an overload on the bylines which is the City’s most preferred medium of attack as teams tend to play a low block against the City. While playing through the middle, he creates as well as make darting runs into the box to reach the right place at the right time for the cutback. Bernardo Silva looks like his 18-19 version on steroids at the moment.

What sets him apart

Silva’s attacking brilliance is unmatched. He has been at the centre of almost every attacking move City has made this season. His dizzying runs leave the defenders in disarray as he did in City’s PL fixture against Liverpool this season. Guardiola once said in an interview that he likes players who run into the box, not the ones that stay in the box and he has been able to apply this philosophy all over the City’s squad.

With Cancelo in red hot form, Bernardo makes runs into the box during every attacking move. No matter how congested the space might be, with his glue touch on the ball and impeccable dribbling, he can get out of tight spaces and score goals.

His positioning within the front four during an attack allows him to either go by the bylines and provide support as well as go into the box and get into scoring positions. He has been able to get himself into much higher quality shooting positions than he did in the 18-19 season. Even when he’s not contributing to the goals, his pre assist and daunting influence in the game is noticeable.

(Credit: Total Football Analysis)

Conclusion

Silva is the brightest star in the team of superstars of Machester City right now and he’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He has won City’s player of the month for the third consecutive season which is also a record for anyone in City’s history. Even in KDB’s absence, he’s kept the City team running like a well-oiled machine. He already has 7 goals and 2 assists in 18 matches worth of time this season and seems destined to be going into double digits soon. The man is a phenomenon and is arguably the best midfielder in the Premier League this season.

(Credit:  The Athletic)

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