Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed midfielder Bernardo Silva as one of the best players in the Premier League.

Silva has been key to City’s title challenge this season, starting 23 of his 26 Premier League appearances so far and missing just one through injury.

Is Bernardo Silva one of the best in the Premier League? Five key things to know…

  1. Bernardo Silva signed for Man City from Monaco last summer, playing 53 games in his debut season.
  2. The Portuguese’s importance to City has grown this season, initially being played as a replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne.
  3. Pep Guardiola has previously started Silva would be with City as long as he stays at the club.
  4. And the City manager has now claimed Silva is one of the top three players in the Premier League.
  5. Only Ederson, Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho have played more Premier League minutes for Man City than Bernardo Silva this season.

The Portuguese midfielder was first used as a central midfielder to replace the injured Kevin De Bruyne, ensuring City did not miss the Belgian, but has seamlessly slipped back into his winger role.

And Guardiola has revealed Silva is a pleasure to manage, while also hailing him as Portugal’s big star.

“He is the big star already,” the Spaniard told reporters when asked if Silva was the next big star for Portugal.

“I think this season he is one of the best two or three players in the Premier League. He is a joy.

“For a manager I am incredibly lucky guy to have Bernardo, to enjoy him in every training session & every single game.

“He’s a lovely guy. I love him.”

Silva has contributed with eight goals and seven assists for City across all competitions and continues to be vital as the club push on all four fronts.

After taking on Schalke in the Champions League last-16 on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men go to Wembley to face Chelsea in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

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Guardiola and Silva: A growing relationship

This is not the first time Guardiola has spoken highly of his Portuguese maestro. The Spaniard signed Silva from Monaco last season for £43.5m, playing him 53 times across all competitions though not always from the start.

But this season, Silva has become invaluable to Guardiola’s tactics missing just eight games all season, six of those coming in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup due to rests.

And, at the start of the season, Guardiola made it clear just how important Silva is to him.

“It’s almost impossible to be more pleased with him as a manager,” he said.

“That’s why he deserves to play all the minutes he’s playing.

“He played a lot last season, but not in the starting line-up, and I don’t forget his behaviour in front of his teammates last season.

“He was an example and that is why I said that I don’t know what will happen in the future but if I am here, this guy will stay here because he is special.”

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