Manchester City

Opinion: Mahrez’s arrival could give Bernardo Silva a more prominent role at Manchester City

Opinion: Mahrez’s arrival could give Bernardo Silva a more prominent role at Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez is Manchester City’s only notable addition this summer with other signings Claudio Gomes and Philippe Sandler being seen as ones for the future. 

The Algeria winger was brought in for a club-record fee and will add to an attack that already looked unstoppable last season as Manchester City strolled their way to the Premier League title, smashing a tonne of records in the process.

Raheem Sterling, in particular, was pivotal in the Citizens’ success having scored 18 goals while assisting another 11 along the way.

The 23-year-old was mainly deployed on the right-hand side by manager Pep Guardiola, making him direct competition for Mahrez who often operated from that position at previous club Leicester City.

Mahrez’s arrival at the Etihad, however, could also impact another Manchester City player.

Bernardo Silva, who is valued at £45m by Transfermarkt, like both Mahrez and Sterling, has mainly been used as a right winger in recent seasons.

The Portugal international signed for big money from AS Monaco last summer, but was largely used as a substitute and cover for Sterling by Guardiola.

The addition of Mahrez, though, could provide Bernardo with not only more playing time, but also a new and more significant role within the team.

If Guardiola decides that Mahrez and Sterling will compete for a spot on the right-hand side of his attack, Bernardo could then be utilised as a midfielder instead.

David Silva has already spoken about leaving the club once his contract expires (via Daily Mail), while at 32, and at the intensity Guardiola team’s play at, playing week in, week out may become too much for the Spaniard.

And Bernardo could be the man to deputise for Silva before eventually succeeding him in midfield.

The City duo’s playing styles are very similar with the pair being great at making use of whatever space they have.

Bernardo’s vision and ability to break lines while being a constant threat once he pops up in a pocket of space is really impressive and, ultimately, makes him an ideal fit for Guardiola’s midfield three.

Things, of course, may not pan out in such a way. But Mahrez’s Etihad arrival gives Guardiola the chance evolve his team further with Bernardo in it.

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