At the minute Everton fans have that rare feeling of the team playing attractive football and actually winning games. The Toffees may have only won their last two games against Fulham and Leicester, but there is a sense that the team is heading in the right direction.
Part of that feeling is down to the team’s attacking play. The attacking quartet that started the 2-1 win over Leicester prior to the international break looked dangerous throughout.
On the flanks were tricky Brazilian Bernard and the pace of Theo Walcott, with the clever Gylfi Sigurdsson wedged between the pair. Big money summer signing Richarlison started up front and scored.
Bernard looking a creative force
While lots will be made of a stunning strike from Sigurdsson and Richarlison scoring once again for the Toffees, for many Evertonian’s it was the performance of diminutive winger Bernard that was the main positive from the game.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk winger has enjoyed a gentle introduction to his Everton career. However, that was due to the winger not being match fit, as he had not played regular football since March due to injury.
Bernard set-up the opening goal and created four chances from open play for his teammates, which is the highest tally of any Everton player in one game in 2018.
The Brazilian international has also created more chance per 90 minutes than any other player in the Premier League. Everton lacked creativity last season, but the former Shakhtar man looks like he could be the man to supply for the Merseysiders.
What a bargain
While it is early days for Bernard on Merseyside, it is difficult not to get excited about the Brazilian’s presence in the Blues squad. Everton have splashed out a fortune over the last few summers on a number of players.
However, I could not believe it when the Toffees managed to sign the Brazilian on a free transfer. Having watched him play for Shakhtar in the Champions League, I really did think he was a special player.
What he lacks of in height he makes up for in sheer technical ability. Bernard is a dying breed in the world game, a player who is not afraid to take on defenders to create for his team.
Some fans are already making comparisons with Chelsea great Gianfranco Zola. Although it would be too early to say that, he does have similarities to the great Italian star in the way he moves with the ball at his feet and of cause his stature.
Everton look to have got a real bargain, which is not a sentence that has been used for a long time when it comes to the Toffees in the last few years.
Should start against Crystal Palace
Everton host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Sunday, a game the Toffees are odds of 4/5 to win. The Toffees finally look to be building up a head of steam, even before the likes of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes have featured.
Evertonian’s will be hoping that the same forward quartet features for the Toffees against the Eagles, as they seem to complement each other. Last season Everton were awful going forward under Sam Allardyce.
Marco Silva has the Merseysiders firing going forward and they are also now looking slightly more secure in defence. This season could be an exciting one for the Toffees and Bernard could be one of the main reasons.
The diminutive Brazilian has already endeared himself to the Everton faithful with his cameo displays. I hope that he can now go on and produce his magic on a regular basis, as Goodison has been missing the entertainment factor a good while.
Could Bernard be one of the Premier League bargains of the season?
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