SCOUTING REPORT: Bernardo Silva Could Be Benfica’s Next Great Player

Posted: December 19, 2013 in Scouting Report, SL Benfica
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19-year-old Bernardo Silva has been quietly putting together some excellent performances for club and country so far this year.

The attacking midfielder is currently playing with Benfica’s B squad in Portugal’s second division and has begun to establish himself as one of the country’s brightest young stars.

A classic playmaker or number 10, Silva has been a central figure in the most potent offense in Portugal’s second tier this season. Benfica B have scored 43 goals in 21 matches so far.

Silva, playing against mostly experienced professionals, has contributed three goals and five assists for the club. He is exactly the type of player that Portugal have seriously lacked since the days of Rui Costa and Deco.

He is part of an exciting generation of Benfica youth players. Silva, along with winger Ivan Cavaleiro, full-back João Cancelo, and midfielder Andre Gomes are widely seen as exceptional talents destined to play for Portugal.

Under manager Jorge Jesus, the club has preferred to purchase inexpensive imports from mainly South America, but it remains unlikely that they will continue to ignore exceptional players like Bernardo Silva much longer.

Silva has also put in some excellent performances with the U19 and U21 squads so far this year. He was a major part of Portugal’s run to the semi-finals of the U19 European Championships in Lithuania this summer. They lost to Serbia on penalties.

He has also begun to make an impact at the U21 level. In a recent match against Israel, Silva entered at half-time with Portugal trailing 2-1. He proceeded to dribble past no less than five Israeli defenders before passing the ball to FC Porto’s Ricardo Pereira for the tying goal.

Silva would go on to score two goals as Portugal held on to defeat Israel 4-3. The Selecção remain perfect after four matches in qualification for the 2015 European Championships in the Czech Republic.

Portugal has failed to qualify for that tournament three consecutive times but it looks like that streak of futility will end this time around. With players like Silva, Pereira, Cavaleiro, Bruma, Marcos Lopes and others, there is a lot of optimism surrounding the country’s youth system right now.

Related Posts:

SCOUTING REPORT: Benfica’s Promising Youngster André Gomes

SCOUTING REPORT: Benfica’s Ivan Cavaleiro Is Hoping To Break Into The Senior Squad

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