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He can play there because he can fight- Guardiola on Silva playing De Bruyne role

Written by: Tushaar Sachdeva

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The former treble-winner had already dropped hints about the important role the Portuguese may play in the season a couple of months ago.

The injury to Manchester City's Player of the Season for 2017-18, Kevin De Bruyne, has been a boon for Bernardo Silva who has waited patiently for his chance, according to manager Pep Guardiola. De Bruyne is expected to miss around two more months after injuringhis knee in training in August. 

Originally a right winger, Silva joined the blue half of Manchester after a successful stint with AS Monaco, winning Ligue 1 in the process. He spent the first season in Manchester majorly coming off the bench, but has now made KDB's role his own after an impactful creative display in the 3-0 win over Fulham.

"He is the most loved guy in the locker room and he played 90 minutes. It's always there," Guardiola told a news conference. "In the beginning, it was a little bit difficult. He came from France to England, and even for me, I needed a period to know, to understand a little bit, and everything about the way we wanted to play and in the way that we are aggressive without the ball, sometimes we need more time. He can play there because he can fight. He is skinny, small, but he is -- wow."

Silva had two disrupted pre-seasons with City, first because of the Confederations Cup and the second thanks to the FIFA World Cup. Though, after his country's Round-of-16 exit from the tournament, he flew to the United States to play in the International Champions Cup -- the only World Cup-bound player to do so for City.

"I am happy because I am helping the team and happy because I am playing well," Silva said. "I hope I can continue this way."

"I can play either in the centre, wide, whatever the manager think is best for the team. In the centre, I am feeling well right now. It depends on the games. I am feeling comfortable both ways." Silva believes that Guardiola's simple football has set him up for success.

"The second season is always easier than the first one," he said. "When you change, it is always more difficult. You have to adapt to the way the new team plays. You have to adapt to your teammates, to the league, the referees, and obviously, I have a lot more confidence. I feel better with the team and I hope I can do better than last season."


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Meanwhile, Benjamin Mendy, rated as one of the most potent full-backs in the league, missed the game against Fulham, with what Guardiola said was a knee injury.

"Mendy was injured," Guardiola said. "The last days he had a problem with the knee. I don't know how many days [he will be] out."

Mendy missed most of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, but Guardiola is hoping it is not a major setback.

Published: Mon Sep 17, 2018 02:31 PM IST

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