Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola claims Bernardo Silva is currently “undroppable”.
The Portugal midfielder has enjoyed a fine start to the season after regaining his place in the Premier League champions’ side.
The 27-year-old, who slipped down the pecking order last term, wanted to leave the club in the summer but no move materialised.
Circumstances then offered Silva a way back into the team in the early weeks of the campaign and he has fully seized the opportunity, impressing in various guises in Guardiola’s fluid attack.
Guardiola said: “Right now he’s undroppable because of what he is doing on the pitch. Sometimes Bernardo didn’t play in the last (two) seasons because he was not undroppable, because he was not on the level.
“But the year we won 98 points in the league, he was the best – and I think it’s coming back.
“What he has done this season – it is difficult to find in Europe, in the world, a player like him right now.
“I have the feeling now he is happy here, with his personal life and hopefully he can have an exceptional season with us again.
“He can play in six positions. He can play holding midfielder, attacking midfielder, winger, striker, false nine and the other winger.
“He can play everywhere because he is so smart, so intuitive, so intelligent.”
Another player in fine form for City, who host Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, is Silva’s international team-mate Joao Cancelo.
Although primarily a right-back, Cancelo has found a home at left-back this term and has added an extra dimension to City’s play by readily stepping into midfield.
Guardiola claims his versatility is not unlike that of Philipp Lahm, the great German full-back with whom he worked, with considerable success, at Bayern Munich.
Guardiola said: “Right now he’s playing like Philipp played at Bayern Munich when we were together.
“Philipp is the best player I have ever seen in my entire life, I have never seen a full-back going inside and being in the pockets and close to the holding midfielder and play like him. Never ever.
“But Joao, like Dani Alves, could play in that position. He definitely has the quality.”
Another thing Guardiola enjoys with Cancelo, 27, is his youthful enthusiasm, something he also sees in other members of his squad.
Guardiola said: “Since Joao arrived he played good, at a high level, because he has one big huge quality – he loves to play football.
“He likes training sessions. He would play football 24 hours a day, every single day and when you find a player like that – like Riyad (Mahrez) or Phil Foden – you have a diamond on your hands.
“Most of the players love to play football but I remember these three examples. Always I see them like little boys playing in the street when they are seven years old.
“They play football right now like when they were on the street or in the school. This is great and that is why Joao has been consistent in his game and that is so good.”
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