Bernardo Silva 22 Midfielder AS Monaco Portugal
Bernardo Silva is a player who possesses poise, intelligence and a delightful left foot. He is a very attacking minded player and doesn’t need a second invitation to attack teams, cutting in from the right wing to use that aforementioned cultured foot to devastating effect.
The 22 year-old is an excellent dribbler of the ball, but doesn’t hog possession like others his age might be guilty of doing. In the last 18 months his pace and drive has become very important to Monaco’s quick attacking system and means he tends to pop up across the attacking positions. A one trick pong he is not.
On the flip side, he needs to improve his actual defensive output. He works hard and does try to put a shift in but concedes a little too many free-kicks to be effective.
2016 has been…
At club level, it’s been a solid year of development.
Having barely broken into the Benfica first team before Monaco enticed him to France, all Bernardo has really known is Ligue 1. And generally it has been good. 18 goals in 79 league appearances is a solid return and it is promising that he is also starting to find the back of the net in more European games.
Last season he played in the Europa League on six occasions and generally allowed the games to pass him by. Goals against Tottenham and CSKA Moscow that proved important to the result in the Champions League this season and a string of improved performances in all competition have reassured us of lingering fears that he might be headed down the road of luxury player.
At international level, 2016 will get chalked off as a missed chance.
Ruled of Euro 2016 through injury, Bernardo Silva’s place in the final 23-man squad went to Renato Sanches who came out of the tournament with his reputation enhanced and a winner’s medal around his neck.
There is no way to know for certain that had he been part of the squad that a victory in the tournament would have also happened, but he will be completely forgiven for pondering every so often what might have been had he not been struck down with a thigh injury in the final league game of last season.
However, his ability to rise beyond that will make him as a player for Portugal; and it’s no doubt a good thing for the group of players that someone who could be the leader of the side by the time the European Championships roll around will be hungry for success.
His clumsy defensive work won’t fly in better teams or with stricter managers, so that should probably be a priority – though there isn’t much that Silva needs to do to make a step up. He’s more or less ready; he just needs someone to make Monaco and his agent an offer they can’t refuse.
Oh, his agent? Jorge Mendes – so a hot line into Europe’s biggest clubs has already been established. They will be well aware of his ability.
C Time to go again
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