Manchester City’s Swap From One Silva to Another: Masterstroke or Not?

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester City's Bernardo Silva (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Bernardo Silva has easily placed himself amongst the best in the world. That being down to his performances over the past season and his most recent contribution in Manchester City’s Champions League win, a scintillating decider, just confirmed it even more.

Manchester City and Real Madrid played out arguably the most entertaining Champions League Semifinals of the two first legs so far. Both English clubs head over to Spain with a good advantage: Man City having narrowly beaten Madrid 4-3 while the Reds saw out a clean sheet and scored two against Villereal.

City’s game was action-packed and picking out a top moment could actually get one shot in the foot. From Vinicius Junior’s slip past Fernandinho for his solo goal to Karim Benzema’s perfectly executed panenka penalty, there were top moments all over the pitch.

However, the discussion here is about Bernardo Silva and his excellent contribution on the night. He scored the fourth and final goal for Manchester City. It was, simply to say, a breathtaking finish. His goal, possibly a contender for one of his best for the season; he beat a 6.56ft Thibaut Courtois at his near post.

With almost no momentum to create a backlift on the shot, he nonetheless managed to place it perfectly in the top-left 90. It was a moment to savor and enjoy. But we’ve seen these types of performances before.

From Who Exactly? One David Silva

One can agree or disagree: the Portuguese shares similar traits to the Spaniard who left the club after the 2019/2020 season as a club and arguably a Premier League legend. “Silva 2.0”, who is hated by all Scousers is also undeniably talented and is certainly in the running for Man City’s Player of the Season award this year.

Yes, he is not the club’s top scorer or leading in assists, but it’s how he has controlled games for Pep Guardiola with or without Kevin de Bruyne on the pitch this term. To add to his on-field dictatorship, he has scored some worldies this season—again, Tuesday being one of the best.

The two Silvas also boast almost parallel numbers but Bernardo still has some distance to cover before he catches up on Silva’s 10 seasons as a Cityzen. In David’s time at the Etihad, he enjoyed 408 appearances, scoring 70 goals and adding a whopping 110 assists.

Halfway through his 10-year Man City journey, Bernardo has played 246 games and has contributed with 48 goals and 47 assists. This does display he is gaining ground on the original Silva.

This Then Brings Forth the Question… Is Bernardo Silva Better Than David Silva?

One could build a strong case and answer, yes. The Portuguese has already bettered the Spaniard’s best goal-contributing campaign. David Silva’s best was 25: in 46 games, 8 goals, and 17 assists back in 2011/12.

Silva 2.0, his best is 26: in 51 games, 13 goals, and 13 assists. Another stand-out Bernardo Silva feature, managing to stay fit for large parts of the season even if more games are being played in quicker succession.

Although one area must be highlighted where Bernardo will never beat City’s firstborn Silva, Silva was a pass master and one of the assist kings of his time. Bernardo might be a better shooter (by a small margin) but Silva will always be remembered for finding water in a desert or connecting Spain and England with a single pass.

The Conclusion About Manchester City’s Silva, Past and Present

They share similar qualities and excel over each other in their respective areas. City have done a masterclass to perfectly “upgrade” from one Silva to another Silva, or rather perfectly install another Silva without feeling the loss of the last.

How? David Silva with Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany helped shape Manchester City into the special beast it is now, helping them stay in the conversation of the Champions League, consistently.

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Bernardo Silva’s job along with Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho is to finally try to help Pep Guardiola get that illusive UCL trophy and gold medal. Funny to think that Bernardo Silva was rumored for a Man City exit during the summer before the season kicked off.