Dropping Bernardo Silva is almost unthinkable in the mind of Pep Guardiola right now, with the City boss showering praise on his outstanding Portuguese playmaker.
The talk in recent years has often been able David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, but Bernardo’s performances this season have raised him to their level and given City another world class midfielder.
Guardiola, not for the first time, said it’s Bernardo and 10 other players right now, singling out the 24-year-old as his best performing player.
“To drop Bernardo Silva right now is almost impossible. It’s him and 10 more players right now,” said Guardiola ahead of City’s trip to Everton.
“I don’t know what happens at the end, but for what he’s done so far – every single game he’s been perfect. Perfect.
“The movement offensively and defensively, the way he lives the game, every time we miss a chance he has that reaction ‘Aarrghh’. The other guys have to compete with Bernardo in that position.
“That doesn’t mean I don’t have confidence in the others or they don’t have the ability to play there. They show me in every game many games and who deserves to play.”
Another midfielder in good form is German international Ilkay Gundogan, whose chipped balls into the box have helped unlock some stubborn defences lately. The form of Ilkay and others led to Guardiola playing all of his main midfielders against Arsenal – a move that paid off.
Pep said: “I saw Gundogan in the last period was in incredible, top form and that’s why I wanted to use more midfielders in that game.”