As reported by Sky Sports, Everton seem to have made a surprise coup for the 25 year old Brazilian winger Bernard on a free transfer. Marco Silva is said to have played a big role in convincing the winger to come to Merseyside, in what could be a favorable indicator of his recruiting prowess as both Athletic Madrid and Chelsea were rumored to have been in for the winger’s services. What is it that Bernard could potentially bring to the blues? To answer that question it is important to look at where he has been and what he has already managed to do.
Bernard started his career in the Serie A, with his hometown club Atletico Mineiro in 2010 where he was immediately loaned out for the first half of the season. He starred for Atletico Mineiro from 2011 until the beginning of the 2013 season when Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk forced a 25 million Euro move for the young winger. In his time with his hometown club, he managed 12 goals and 17 assists in 64 league games, looking a force down the left side. In Ukraine, he looked the same dominant player he was in Brazil, bagging 14 goals and assisting on 24 in just 95 league games, playing again as a winger. He was also integral in Shakhtar’s Champion’s League run bagging 3 goals in 8 games coming against the likes of Manchester City.
Bernard himself spoke of a potential move saying, “There is interest from European clubs, many things are appearing. That is why I have to have my head in the right place, be calm and know and choose the best option.” This summer has been consistent with this thought, as Inter Milan have come close to signing the Brazilian and West Ham have thrown their interest in as well. Bernard really said it best about his current situation at Shakhtar in that same interview in January when he said, “All the Shakhtar players have that in mind, to join a big club, to move to a stronger league.”
What does Bernard bring to Everton? A talented, creative on the ball winger who is just as deadly putting the ball into the net as he is placing a pass into a dangerous area. His arrival could allow for either him or Walcott to play more central, providing Cenk Tosun even more help through the middle with Gylfi Siggurdson, help that Tosun lacked desperately near the end of the season with both Walcott and Siggurdson sidelined. On a free transfer, the Brazilian looks to be a coup, even without knowing how his talent will transfer and having room to grow, it seems to be the right time to get excited about an absolutely lethal Everton attack in the upcoming season.