Bernard is turning out to be one of the best-kept transfer window secrets of the 2018-19 Premier League season, and Marco Silva’s insistence in letting the player build his fitness first is starting to make sense to the Everton fans.
The Brazil international, who joined the Blues this summer after he let his contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expire, has been a sensational addition to the Everton attack in recent games.
He put Southampton to the sword in his first start, the Carabao Cup elimination midweek, and then in his first Premier League start over the weekend at Leicester City, he was a handful that Daniel Amartey just had no answer for all game long.
Bernard laid on the first goal for the Toffees in just the seventh minute, slaloming into the box before finding Richarlison with a cross to poke home. Even after that, he continued to combine well with Lucas Digne overlapping outside him for most of the game and the added dimension to Everton’s game has been a delight to watch.
After the win, manager Marco Silva revealed that the Blues had had to fight off the attentions of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, West Ham United and Italian pair AC Milan and Inter Milan, who had put strong offers on the table for the free agent. However, in the end Silva convinced the player that the switch to Merseyside would work best for him. [Daily Mail, Liverpool Echo]
“Yes, it’s true that he had some good offers - and not just from Premier League clubs, but of course he is a player I know can give different things to us.
”He is a winger with a different profile and can give different things with the ball in the last third of the park.”
The formation on Saturday at the King Power Stadium with him on the left and Richarlison pushed upfront was certainly dangerous.
“That was something we had prepared during the sessions. We had to give the minutes to Bernard to come back in the right physical condition to play at this level and intensity.
“Before the Carabao Cup game last Tuesday he didn’t play 90 minutes since March. It is important for him in the future, for sure he will play better than that.”
Bernard had seven of his 62 touches in the Foxes’ box, and did well tracking back to help out in defence too, contributing 14 recoveries during the game, a feat surpassed by only one other player in the entire Premier League this weekend.
Silva certainly noticed the workrate too from the winger.
“They know, all of them, if they don’t work really hard to help our team without the ball it’s not easy to play with me.”
Everton looked very coherent in attack this last weekend, and hopefully Silva will continue to refine things over the international break.