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Bernardo Silva has been Man City's most effective player - Guardiola

19:38 GMT+3 15/03/2019
BernardoSilva - cropped
The Portugal international's performances have stepped up a level this season - and his manager is keen to single him out for praise

Pep Guardiola says Bernardo Silva has been Manchester City's "most effective" player this season.

Silva joined City for £43.5million ($57.8m) in 2017 after playing a starring role in Monaco's title-winning season in Ligue 1 and run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Silva made 53 appearances as City won the Premier League and Carabao Cup in 2017-18 but has only graduated to the status of being a virtually guaranteed starter during his second season at the club.

Kevin De Bruyne's injury problems have seen the 24-year-old excel with some tireless performances in a central playmaking role, while he scored his ninth goal of the campaign during Tuesday's 7-0 Champions League demolition of Schalke, helping seal a 10-2 aggregate triumph in the last-16 tie.

Those performances prompted City to offer him a new contract, with the Portugal international putting pen-to-paper on a new deal this week that will keep him at Etihad Stadium until the summer of 2025.

Speaking ahead of City's FA Cup quarter-final clash with Swansea City on Saturday, Guardiola was fulsome in his praise of the midfielder and believes he has even outshone the likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero this season.

"We judge our players by what they do on the pitch and he has maybe been the most effective player this season on the pitch and in training sessions," he said.

"I have said what a lovely guy he is and how he is appreciated because of the way he behaves.

"I'm grateful and delighted. It is an honour for us because it means he wants to stay."

City’s thumping win over Schalke on Tuesday keeps alive their hopes of securing a historic quadruple, with the Carabao Cup already secured after last month’s penalty shootout win over Chelsea.

After Saturday’s FA Cup trip to Swansea, Guardiola’s side will return to Premier League action against relegation-threatened Fulham the following week.

City currently hold a one-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table with just eight games remaining.

They will also face Premier League opposition in the Champions League after they were drawn against Tottenham in the quarter-finals.