Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane are just as good as Kylian Mbappe, claims Man City team-mate Bernardo SilvaNovember 10, 2018
WHO needs Kylian Mbappe?
Manchester City have regularly been linked with the £165 million French World Cup winner since he burst onto the scene at Monaco.
And no wonder – the Paris Saint Germain teen is widely regarded as the best youngster in the world.
But in Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane the English champs already have two players who can challenge him for the top honours in the future.
The City wide men – who are also close pals off the pitch – have been scoring goals, creating chances and generally running defenders ragged in recent weeks.
And the duo will feel they have a score to settle this weekend after the Red Devils spoiled City’s title party with a win at the Etihad in April.
Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva played alongside Mbappe, 19, during their days together at Monaco.
And he can see enough similarities with the City wide pair to make him think they can be mentioned in the same bracket.
The £43 million man said: “Kylian was a fantastic player for us and now he’s doing very well for PSG, obviously for France as well and he won the World Cup with them.
“But here at Manchester City we have two outstanding players, Raheem and Leroy, and both amongst the best players in the league. It’s amazing for us to have them with us.
“I think all of them have the talent to win the big prizes.
“The three of them are young, Raheem, 23, Leroy is 22 and Kylian is 19, so yeah, very young players and they can still improve a lot.
“With Raheem and Leroy, they score, they always work a lot for the team to create something.
“Since I’ve arrived they have been among the key players for the team and I just hope they can keep going this way.”
Bernardo – who has been outstanding for Pep Guardiola’s men this season – can see the similarities between his former team-mate and his current ones.
He said: “When you are 18, 19, you usually just want to enjoy the football, to dribble and Kylian doesn’t have that mentality.
“He has that mentality to score goals which is not normal for his age and I think that’s what makes him a fantastic player.
“Not only does he want to be on the ball and have fun, but he wants to score goals and always knows which direction he wants to go.
“That’s what makes him special – he has that drive and ambition.But Raheem and Leroy have that too.
“I think they are better than were last season and that’s what they need to do. They keep improving in all areas and I hope they keep going this way.”
Like most of their City team-mates, Sane and Sterling will no doubt remember the events of April 7 at the Etihad very clearly.
Guardiola’s men raced into a two goal half-time lead against their neighbours – knowing a win would see them clinch the title.
The champagne was already on ice – only for United to storm back and win the game 3-2, meaning the party quickly fell flat.
Bernardo told Sport360: “It hurt a little bit because we wanted to win that game and the Premier League title against them on that day.
“But it’s forgotten, it’s in the past. Now we just want to win on Sunday and get three more points which is the important thing.
“I played two derbies last season, won one, lost one and it’s a special game, especially for the fans because it means so much for them.
“They feel it a lot and love this kind of game. I just hope, here at home, we can give our fans the win. Last year we were unable to do that, but this season I hope we can.”
Having pocketed his first English medals last season, Bernardo is hungry for more and admits he uses a former United icon as his inspiration.
The midfield ace is an international pal of Cristiano Ronaldo – who won three Premier League titles during his unforgettable six years in England.
Bernardo said: “When we went to the World Cup with the national team, Cristiano congratulated me then.
“I just hope I can keep winning titles and titles like he did.
“I think this team has the ambition and quality to do it and hopefully we will work very hard to win some more trophies this season, next season and then the next season.
“The secret is not only the quality of the players and the staff, but the ambition and desire of the players.
“We are all young players and have this desire to do more. We keep being hungry to win trophies and that’s the most important thing.”