Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has claimed that attacker Bernard is still firmly in his plans, despite the fact he’s not played a single Premier League minutes this season.
The 28-year-old Brazilian has been an unused substitute in the opening four games of the new league season, with the Toffees winning all of them to sit top of the table over the international break.
He’s played in two of the three Carabao Cup games, scoring one goal and assisting one against Fleetwood Town, but he’s been starved of game-time so far.
With Richarlison and James Rodriguez currently thriving in the two wide positions, it’s making it very difficult for Bernard to play and the skilful left-winger will have to be patient waiting for his opportunity.
But Ancelotti may have given the diminutive winger some encouragement with his latest comments, as he’s confirmed that he will get his chances moving forward and that he rates him highly.
“I don’t see similarities with the other Brazilians I’ve trained, every one is special. I have confidence in him [Bernard] and in the future he is going to play,” Ancelotti said in his press conference, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
Everton’s squad has certainly been strengthened by the arrival of summer transfers and the new star players are starting to raise the levels of the entire squad, with Gylfi Sigurdsson one man that looks back to his best after a difficult time last year.
Sigurdsson knows he’s had to find his best form to break into an Everton XI that is performing so well right now and it’s exactly the same for Bernard.
Bernard can make a real impact when he plays with his speed and skill, but last season’s record of three goals and two assists in 30 appearances highlights the clear area that he needs to improve his end product when he plays.
There is a lot of talk about Everton potentially challenging for a Champions League spot this year after such a solid start and they are going to need the depth of their squad if that is the case.