Pep Guardiola emphasises how important Bernardo Silva’s versatility is to Manchester City

The Sky Blues’ boss thinks Silva is a key part of his squad due to his versatility and work ethic.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has emphasised how important Bernardo Silva is to his squad due to the Portuguese international’s versatility.

The 51-year-old believes Silva is a ‘key player’ due to his ‘work ethic’ and ability to play in multiple roles, but can ‘struggle’ against certain opponents.

"Bernardo [Silva] is so important, he likes to play inside, but struggled a bit to find the positions in the middle, more outside to come inside,” Guardiola said during his pre-match press conference on Monday.

“It depends on the opponent; normally they try to close gaps inside so [it] isn’t easy to find these players.”

Silva claims Guardiola helps his players better understand football. Credit: Getty.

The Catalan added: "[He’s] a key player for us for many reasons, work ethic, [he] can play six roles upfront. Alternative we can use him during a game is massively important.

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"Sometimes I need him in the positions where he can make a boost for us. He’s a typical No.10 behind the striker. The last two games they [Everton and Tottenham] close the gaps players, not easy to find.”

Silva has featured as a false-9 or ‘striker’ for City on several occasions this season. This is a position that Guardiola thinks is ‘most difficult’ for the Sky Blues No.20 to play in, but is made easier when his teammates create a good build up and ‘can find him’.

Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring against Sporting Lisbon. Credit: Getty.

"[The] most difficult part of the game, [the] most difficult plays is the striker because there are no spaces. When we make good build up, we can find him,” Guardiola said.

Silva has been a pivotal part of City’s squad since his arrival from Monaco in 2017, making 236 appearances in all competitions, scoring 45 goals and assisting his teammates on 47 occasions.