Marco Silva has backed electric winger Bernard to become a key asset for the Blues, revealing the Brazilian’s wide range of attributes are an ideal fit for his Everton vision.
The 26-year-old summer signing has made an eye-catching start to his Toffees career, with his pace, quick feet and slick passing making an instant impression.
Bernard made his full Premier League debut in the 2-1 triumph at Leicester City last Saturday, laying on an assist for countryman Richarlison’s opener against the Foxes.
He continued to shine throughout and was integral cog in what was a fast-paced, purposeful attacking performance.
Boss Silva said Everton’s display in the east Midlands represented the “image” of how he wants his side to perform. And in winger Bernard, the Portuguese believes he has a talent who will flourish as he strives to shape an ambitious and expressive Toffees side.
“People talk about the size of Bernard but the most important thing is he has quality,” he told evertontv.
“Also [when we sign a player], it depends if they can fit it into our style of play.
“If you have an idea to use long balls and always play direct football, then that will not suit Bernard.
“But if you have quality in your game, and you want to play good football, then Bernard can give us very good things.”
Bernard wasted no time in making his mark against the Foxes last weekend. Just seven minutes in, he showcased dazzling skill to work some space on the left-hand side before digging out a superb cross for Richarlison to put the Blues ahead.
Bernard embarked on five dribbles during the game – more than any other player – while his total of five chances created was also a match-high.
It was not just in an attacking sense where the Brazil international impressed, however, as he consistently displayed his willingness to track back. The former Shakhtar Donetsk forward recovered possession more times (14) than any other player at the King Power Stadium.
Bernard was part of a dynamic front four that took to the field against Leicester, lining up alongside Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Theo Walcott.
Boss Silva was greatly encouraged by how the quartet linked up, with their myriad of skills posing a constant threat in the final third.
“Bernard gave the quality I expected,” he said. “He is different, he can keep the ball, he can give quality with his final pass – the moment he gave the pass to Theo is a good example.
“And since the first moment, I told you Richarlison can play left, right and up front. He played as a striker against Leicester and did really well – always creating problems for them, always helping with our first press.
“And Theo on the right side is a player always ready to score, to create chances. And with Gylfi – I know his quality and his goal was fantastic. The four did well.
“And, of course, they were able to play well because the six in behind provided good support, too.”
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