If you examine Bernardo Silva‘s positional history over the last two years, you might form a misleading impression of the Manchester City player. While often a number 8, he’s been deployed as a false striker, winger on either side, holding midfielder, and even left back – showcasing versatility few possess.
Despite a drop in statistical contributions this season, Silva, one of the Premier League‘s most technically gifted players, stands out for his intelligence, adaptability, and consistency. Although lacking the physicality of Haaland and the decisiveness of De Bruyne, Silva‘s all-around capabilities make him a key asset.
Guardiola, facing challenges in the midfield this season, saw departures and injuries affect key players like Gundogan and De Bruyne. New signings faced adaptation issues, but Silva emerged as a crucial figure, particularly in the number 8 role, becoming the midfield focal point in De Bruyne’s absence.
Playing regularly in midfield allows Silva to progress the ball more, as evident in increased forward passes and improved accuracy in long passes. His passing success rate (88.7% for passes over 30 yards) and chance creation from open play have notably risen this season.
Silva‘s performance evolution is highlighted by his improved tackling success rate, dispelling early perceptions of his physicality. He’s won the ball in 58.8% of conflicts this season, he’s transformed into a tenacious player.
While acknowledging Haaland‘s goal-scoring prowess, De Bruyne‘s potential resurgence, and Rodri‘s consistent performances, Silva currently stands as Manchester City‘s technical leader, adapting seamlessly to modern football with his exceptional skills and versatility.