Mumbai: After yet another routine Premier League win, Pep Guardiola made a statement that defined Bernardo Silva’s significance to Manchester City: “He is skinny, small, but he is wow. I don’t know what will happen in the future but if I am here, this guy will stay because he is special.”
The Portuguese midfield maestro has unarguably been the most consistent performer for the Sky Blues this season with the Spaniard even revealing it is ‘impossible’ to be more pleased with Bernardo as a manager.
Despite the absence of chief orchestrator Kevin de Bruyne, the diminutive playmaker has left no stone unturned in showcasing his masterclass which has left many impressed including club legend Paul Dickov.
“I’d say Bernardo has been the best player for Manchester City this season. Last year he got his head down and got on with it, and now he’s getting his reward. We all knew how good he was when we bought him from Monaco and he’s showing his quality now. He’s a great player,” Dickov said in an exclusive interaction.
Dickov knows the grind to get at the top level. During his time at Arsenal under Pat Rice, the Scot would spend time cleaning changing rooms along with scrubbing toilets. While such situations may no longer be prevalent in modern football, the trend of local players struggling to break into the first team hasn’t changed, even today.
When asked if academy graduates like Phil Foden should follow suit from teammates like Jadon Sacho, who has found immense success with Borussia Dortmund after a move abroad, Dickov explained: “There are foreign players competing as well these days so it gets difficult for local players to break into the first team. Since there’s more pressure on managers to succeed, so they want experienced players. It was difficult back then as well during my time.”
The 45-year-old was in India as a part of the Manchester City trophy tour which was held in New Delhi, Pune and Mumbai. The former Doncaster Rovers manager also asserted that India needed to be persistent with its progress on the international stage.
“The development has got to begin at the grassroots level. Not just improving facilities but also getting in good coaches. There is obviously a lot of talent in India but you have to be patient with it and nurture it. It won’t all happen straight away,” he signed off.