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'Right now it's Bernardo and 10 more players' - Guardiola hails undroppable Silva

4:13 AM IST 06/02/19
BernardoSilva - cropped
The manager is not short of talent in his Manchester City squad but believes the midfielder has made himself nearly impossible to drop

Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva has made himself virtually undroppable for manager Pep Guardiola.

City's player of the season last term, Kevin De Bruyne, has been forced to battle two medial knee ligament injuries this time around and only recently returned to full fitness.

De Bruyne's absence has largely left former Monaco star Silva picking up the slack – playing in central midfield as opposed to the wide-right berth he usually occupied when called upon during his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

With the exception of club captain Vincent Kompany, who is once again laid low by a calf problem, Guardiola boasts a clean bill of health heading into Wednesday's trip to Everton, where victory would edge the reigning champions back above Liverpool at the Premier League summit on goal difference.

It means competition for places is fierce, but one gifted Portugal international seemingly need not fear the axe.

"For me, to drop Bernardo Silva right now is almost impossible," Guardiola said.

"Right now it is Bernardo and 10 more players.

"I don't know what this guy has done this season. Playing in the middle and outside, every single game he played perfect.

"Taking decisions, how he fights, reading the movements offensively and defensively, the way he lives the game.

"Every time we miss a chance he makes that reaction [puts head dramatically in hands]. He lives that, he is involved absolutely.

"They have to compete with Bernardo in that position."

Across 32 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19, Silva has eight goals and seven assists.

Last season, the Portuguese midfielder nine goals in 53 total appearances for the club in his first campaign in English football.

Manchester City take on Everton on Wednesday before hosting Chelsea on Sunday.

Title rivals Liverpool, meanwhile, face off with Bournemouth on Saturday before turning attention to the Champions League.