Bernardo Silva's profile fits Monaco's philosophy perfectly: a raw, low-price talent who still requires a little polishing.
Last January, Monaco acquired his services from Benfica for the modest sum of £11.5 million when they lifted the option to purchase his economic and sportive rights inserted into his loan deal. If one day the 21-year-old manages to fulfil his enormous potential, he could indeed prove to be a first-class investment.
Since his move to the Principality, Silva has featured in 55 matches finding the back of the net on eleven occasions as well as providing four assists for his teammates. Even though his decent speed and dangerous crosses enable him to operate on either wing, the little magician relishes in a more central and free role. Fortunately, Jardim generally plays him in his favoured position in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
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When placed in the middle of the park, Silva seizes almost every opportunity to exhibit his vast pallet of qualities. Thanks to his fluid technique, outstanding agility and dribbling, the frail playmaker can easily eliminate opponents even in the smallest of spaces.
Furthermore, coupled with brilliant vision, his precise left foot allows him to find his teammates with his closed eyes. Although strength and balance aren't the best aspects of his game, his outstanding work-rate and respectable stamina undoubtedly make up for these flaws.
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Following last term's breakthrough (scoring ten and assisting four), it will be interesting to see if Silva can maintain his momentum. Over the summer, he quickly set the expectation levels for this season by playing a vital part in the Portuguese squad at the Under 21's European Cup.
Sadly, the featherweight was unable to lead his country to glory as they lost to Sweden in the final. Should he manage to reproduce similar performances, the youngster may well be included in Fernando Santos' Euro 2016 squad.
Unfortunately, Monaco failed to qualify for this year's Champions League losing to Valencia in the playoffs. Having played less than 200 minutes in Monaco's impressive European campaign last term, Silva evidently has a point to prove in this season's Europa League.
Not only will this be an excellent oopportunity for the Portuguese to grab some much-needed European experience, it will also give the white and reds an ideal chance to showcase their Iberian prodigy.
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