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Guardiola: 'Intelligent' Bernardo Silva ready to make immediate impact

“Thanks so much to the club for picking him up,” Guardiola said.

Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva
Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva

MANCHESTER CITY BOSS Pep Guardiola says he is grateful to the club’s board for the signing of “intelligent” playmaker Bernardo Silva, who the Catalan believes is ready to make an immediate Premier League impact.

Silva, who joined in May from Ligue 1 champions Monaco in a deal reportedly worth £43million, made his first appearance for the club in a 3-0 pre-season win over West Ham United in Iceland last week.

The Portugal international was given extended leave after appearing at the Confederations Cup for his country but Guardiola was impressed as he made his City debut from the bench against the Hammers.

“I’m so grateful – thanks so much to the club for picking him up,” said Guardiola.

“Bernardo played his first minutes and he was immediately ready to play. Intelligent players don’t need time to be involved in the way we want to play.

“Bernardo is a guy who loves football, who lives 24 hours thinking about the game. I like that. He is a humble guy – he’s so intelligent, which is a huge quality. Close to the box he has the quality to score a lot of goals and he’s a fighter too so he’s going to help us during the season.”

Victory over West Ham followed up wins against Tottenham and Real Madrid in an impressive pre-season for the title favourites and Guardiola believes his side are in good shape for their first match of the Premier League season, away to promoted Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

“I am so happy because they work well, and especially no injuries,” Guardiola said. “I am so grateful to my physios to control the amount of work. We cancelled just one training session in the States because of the weather.

“We played good games against four amazing teams. It was a good test for us. We can play good and we can win games. We always create more than the opponent.

“In the last three games we have scored ten goals against top teams and conceded just one. The stability of the team has been good. We didn’t concede too much, we always created more than the opponents and that’s why we are quite satisfied but the reality starts now. We have to do that under pressure. We did it without pressure in friendlies and now we have to see how we react under pressure.”

As midfielder Ilkay Gundogan inches back to full fitness after missing most of last season due to injury, Guardiola said he will take no risks with the Germany international.

“I think he’s close to coming back,” Guardiola said. “Maybe he’ll get minutes in Girona [on August 15]. I don’t know, we’re going to ask the doctor because, of course, he was injured for a long time.

“We don’t want to take any risks. He has to be strong but, of course, his quality is perfect for the way we want to play. He’s a guy who plays in the middle and can be a holding midfielder or play in front. In those terms, we’re so happy.”

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