Why Man City should decline Bernardo Silva – Nelson Semedo swap deal
According to The Telegraph (h/t Daily Mail), Barcelona are making an attempt to tempt Man City star Bernardo Silva to Camp Nou this summer by offering him a regular starting role in their squad next season.
The 25-year-old started only 23 games for Pep Guardiola’s side this past season, with the emergence of Phil Foden and the consistent form of Riyad Mahrez limiting his playtime.
Barcelona, though, are well aware that they don’t have the necessary budget in the post-pandemic market to buy Bernardo outright. Hence, they are planning to include City target Nelson Semedo as a part of a player-plus-cash deal. (Telegraph h/t Daily Mail)
Bernardo’s City career so far
Bernardo Silva has established himself as an indispensable component of Man City’s set-up following his £43.5million move from Monaco back in the summer of 2017.
The Portuguese midfielder played a key role in the Cityzens’ domestic double (Premier League and FA Cup triumphs) in his debut season and was once again instrumental as Guardiola’s brigade bagged the domestic treble (PL crown, EFL Cup and FA Cup) in the 2018-19 campaign.
The 25-year-old was named City’s Player of the Season for the 2018-19 season during which he amassed an astonishing tally of 13 goals and 14 assists in 51 appearances across all competitions. Bernardo’s returns dropped to 8 goals and 10 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions this past season but he remains crucial to Guardiola’s plans moving forward.
Why City don’t need Semedo
Kyle Walker continued as Man City’s first-choice right-back in the previous campaign, starting 28 games in the Premier League as Guardiola’s side finished runners-up to Liverpool.
Joao Cancelo was roped in from Juventus on a part-exchange deal last summer, with Danilo going the other way to Turin. The Portuguese international started 13 times in the PL this term, with Guardiola rotating him between right-back and left-back roles.
Cancelo’s lack of playtime was largely down to Guardiola’s trust in Walker but with the England international already 30, the former is expected to play a more prominent role at City in the years to come.
Hence, it would be fair to say that the Citizens have already got a top-quality right-back like Cancelo to take over the reins from Walker and investing in Nelson Semedo could create unnecessary selection dilemmas for the manager.
Instead, City would be better off looking at a specialist left-back in the market, with the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Angelino all struggling to show the desired level of consistency in the Premier League.
Despite his somewhat reduced role in the starting eleven last season, it would hardly make any sense for City to offload Bernardo Silva, especially to one of their top European rivals.
Having lost the PL title to Liverpool last term, City need to plug the holes in order to regain supremacy. Losing a player of Silva’s calibre would, therefore, be a massive set-back that Guardiola simply can’t afford.
The Portuguese star’s versatility to operate as a midfielder and also as an inside-forward makes him a perfect fit for the manager’s 4-3-3 base formation at the Etihad. Add to that his tally of 30 goals and 35 assists in 156 appearances for the Cityzens and it’s easy to see why he’s such an invaluable asset to the team.
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Nelson Semedo is certainly a quality right-back but he is not someone who City desperately need. Instead, they would be better off focussing on trying to get the best out of Cancelo moving forward. Taking all the factors into consideration, Man City would be foolish to accept Barcelona’s shrewd offer to lure Bernardo Silva away from the Etihad.