This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Bernard was a shrewd swoop for Everton when the Toffees moved to sign the Brazilian for free in 2018, after he rejected a number of contract proposals by Shakhtar Donetsk and offers to join Chinese Super League sides Hebei China Fortune and Jiangsu Suning (Goal).
Marco Silva was said to have played a key role in the midfielder opting to join Everton on a four-year contract (Sky Sports), as many of Europe’s top clubs were thought to have enquired about Bernard’s availability before the Toffees sealed their deal.
The Belo Horizonte native’s arrival on Merseyside came coupled with a contract that made Bernard Everton’s highest earner alongside fellow summer arrival Yerry Mina at £120,000-a-week (Spotrac), and the offer was soon put to good use
Bernard started in 25 of his 34 Premier League appearances for Everton during his maiden season at Goodison Park (TransferMarkt), and coupled those outings with an appearance against Southampton in the Carabao Cup and a goalscoring display against Lincoln City in the FA Cup.
His strike against the Imps was his first in Royal Blue, with his second coming later on in the year away to West Ham United in a 2-0 win for Silva’s side in between triumphs over Chelsea and Arsenal.
Silva has not had to wait as long to see Bernard find the back of the net in their second campaign together at Everton, as the 27-year-old fired home the winning goal against Watford in week two of the season and broke the goal line again on Saturday against West Ham.
Facing the East London outfit was Bernard’s fifth start of the league campaign (WhoScored), and first appearance since the Carabao Cup win at Sheffield Wednesday last month.
Before the visit of Manuel Pellegrini’s London Stadium natives to Merseyside, Bernard admitted that the clash represented a chance for Everton to believe in themselves and deliver the better results demanded of the players.
“We have the quality, we are a good team with excellent players, and know we should be doing better,” he told Everton’s matchday programme. “We know how much pressure there is – and without a doubt there is a lot.
“It is not just us as players, or us as a team. We are representing an institution, an entity, which is Everton.”
Bernard’s display in Royal Blue against the Irons was a dogged showing of pure determination to drive forward when in possession, exemplified by his goal, as he met Theo Walcott’s deft cut into the box before teasing the Hammers backline.
The 14-cap Brazil international then drove to the byline, where he poked the ball past Roberto Jimenez in a small pocket of space between the 33-year-old and his near post – setting Everton up for a vital three points to move the Blues out of the relegation places.
When not in possession, Bernard was constantly on the move, as well, as he would drift into the pockets of space as they emerged, while keeping his head up for any openings to drive on for a teammate to pick him out.
It was a display by Bernard very fitting of his market value, with TransferMarkt tipping the 27-year-old to be worth £18million, far, far more than what Everton paid to acquire his signature in 2018.
The figure also comes on a steady rise for the midfielder, who is currently valued as the Toffees’ 11th-most lucrative asset and the 34th-most expensive Brazilian in world football.
If Bernard can maintain his current form, his market value will continue to grow over the coming months, too, with the midfielder currently averaging twice as many shots on target per ninety minutes than he managed last season (WhoScored), along with more successful dribbles and tackles.
Everton fans, does Bernard start at Brighton on Saturday? Let us know in the comments below…
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