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.
Manchester City take on Lyon tonight hoping to reach just their second Champions League semi-final in their ninth successive season in the tournament. They will be striving to avoid a repeat of three years ago when their hopes were thwarted by Ligue 1 opposition in Monaco, who eliminated Pep Guardiola’s side on away goals in the last 16.
Among that Monaco side was a Portuguese playmaker by the name of Bernardo Silva, who impressed the Premier League club sufficiently to persuade them to part with £43.6m in May 2017 (as per The Telegraph) to bring him to the Etihad Stadium. The Guardian‘s Julien Laurens wrote that Man City were getting a “down-to-earth, hard-working player with extraordinary technique and vision” for that amount.
Bernardo had to be patient during his first season in Manchester, making just 15 Premier League starts in the 100-point romp to the title in 2017/18. However, he still accrued six goals and five assists in 1,519 minutes in the division, giving him an average of one goal per 253.1 minutes and an assist every 303.8 minutes.
Across all competitions, his first year at the Etihad yielded nine goals and 11 assists, while he popped up with some important interventions, such as the only goal in a hard-fought home win over Chelsea in March 2018. Also, his 53 appearances in all tournaments were the most of any City player that season.
Often deployed as a substitute in that season, Bernardo became a vital member of Guardiola’s starting XI in 2018/19, being handed 31 Premier League starts and delivering seven goals and eight assists as City pipped Liverpool to the title by a point. His most important contribution was probably the opening goal in the 2-0 win at Manchester United during the run-in.
Following that title triumph, his manager raved about the player’s consistency, describing him as “nearly always an eight or a nine rating”, as per news18.com.
Do you think Bernardo Silva is underappreciated?
Bernardo’s three-year sequence of domestic league triumphs came to an end in 2019/20 but he still maintained a steady ratio of goal contributions for City, scoring six times and setting up seven goals in the Premier League. Having also helped Portugal to UEFA Nations League glory last summer, he was nominated for the 2019 Ballon d’Or, a testament to his continued influence at club and international level.
At the time of his move to Manchester, he had a market value of £36m, as per TransferMarkt. The same website now values the Portugal winger, who turned 26 this week, at double that amount – and that had been even higher at £90m last year until the market receded in recent months following the global pandemic.
He was a Champions League semi-finalist with Monaco three years ago and is now on the cusp of repeating that feat for Manchester City. Having played a part in ruining the Cityzens’ European dreams in 2017, the ever-consistent Bernardo may yet be crucial in helping to deliver the biggest prize in club football to the Etihad Stadium over the next few days.
Man City fans, just how impressed have you been with Bernardo Silva during his time at the club? Have your say by commenting below!
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