Everton have been far from convincing since Marco Silva took charge of the club in the summer, but they have shown enough glimpses of promise to suggest that they can challenge the status quo in English football under his stewardship.
A return of just 2 wins from 7 fixtures is not the return which Everton supporters were hoping for from an enticing set of opening fixtures. Silva’s arrival was predicted to deliver a new brand of entertaining football at Goodison Park and, whilst Everton have demonstrated an improvement in that regard, they still have a long way to go.
But with talented creative talent Gylfi Sigurdsson operating in a number ten role and the dynamic attacking pairing of Theo Walcott and boy wonder Richarlison playing either side of him, Everton have the foundations of a devastating attacking unit.
The Iceland international has been at the heart of everything positive Everton have done so far this season, but a handful of cameos from summer signing Bernard suggest that the creative burden on his shoulders will be reduced when Silva finally slots him into the starting eleven.
The nimble-footed Brazilian arrived on Merseyside on a free transfer in the summer after his contract at Shakhtar Donetsk expired following five seasons in Ukraine, and he showcased a glimpse into the extent of his technical quality against Fulham on Saturday afternoon by providing the assist for Sigurdsson’s second of the afternoon.
Of course, Bernard will seldom be handed the amount of space he was afforded by Fulham’s defenders when starting in the Premier League, as the visiting side were over committed in their effort to find a route back into the game, but the composed manner in which he was able to fashion an opportunity for Sigurdsson suggests there is plenty more to come.
At this moment in time Sigurdsson is effectively Everton’s sole source of creative guile in the final-third, but Bernard’s quality in possession should reduce the burden on his shoulders and allow him to step up another level as the season progresses.
Bernard (valued at £14.4 million by Transfermarkt) will need to be patient this season in his bid to break into Everton’s first team and the supporters cannot expect fireworks from the new recruit whilst he is adapting to his new surroundings.
As the season progresses, Bernard will grow in stature and his talent will help Sigurdsson to continue on his upward trajectory, so the Toffees faithful should look forward to a bright future with more moments like the one which saw the aforementioned pairing combine to clinical effect against Fulham.
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