The alternative Premier League transfer targets: No.10s
|THE VIEW FROM BRAZIL
|Marcella Martha | Goal Brazil
Bernard is definitely one of the most exciting talents to have emerged in Brazilian football in the last few years and his growth since 2011 has been particularly impressive.
Under coach Cuca, Bernard has flourished to emerge as a key member of the Atletico team, boasting key attributes such as pace, vision and a selflessness that ensures he creates plenty of chances for his teammates.
His diminutive size can mask the threat he possesses to opponents, while his stature delayed his eventual emergence into the Atletico first-team.
Bernard's departure to Europe is highly expected some time soon but Mineiro's chairman, Alexandre Kalil, is a tough negotiator and it will certainly take a big bid to lure him away from Brazil.
Energetic and creative, the 20-year-old has been one of the stand-out talents in South America during the last two years. Blessed with furious acceleration, quick feet, great balance and excellent technique, Bernard has forged a near telepathic-relationship with Ronaldinho, now playing in a more reserved, deeper role for Galo.
In the 2012 Brasileiro campaign he scored 11 goals and provided 11 assists in 36 appearances, leading Atletico's title charge (though they would finish five points behind champions Fluminense) and has continued that good form this season, earning five caps for the Brazil national team – albeit coming off the bench in each appearance.
Bernard's time in Belo Horizonte appears to be coming to an end, however, with head coach Cuca admitting the club "won't be able to keep Bernard, but this is natural". A concern may be that Bernard is too lightweight for the Premier League (he stands at a barely-there five-foot-four), but he is a gamble surely worth taking.