This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Everton’s Djibril Sidibe has hailed Bernard as a key figure in his impressive start to life on Merseyside.
The defender believes the intense nature of the 27-year-old’s style has had a big impact on his mentality at Goodison Park.
Sidibe joined Everton from Monaco in the summer on a season-long loan and has recently become an important part of Marco Silva’s plans. The Frenchman initially had to wait for a spell in the side and has praised the Brazilian, who is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, as a big influence on helping him adapt to English football.
The tenacious forward is small in stature but will battle with the biggest on the pitch and the right-back believes this has had a big impact on him.
Sidibe told evertonfc.com: “The biggest difference in England is your state of mind, how you go into a game mentally.
“Look at Bernard. He is tiny but look at him, the intensity he puts into a game, his runs forward and back.
“His tackling and his gestures on the field. Everything. He is all action. He is an example we can all follow.
“Skill and ability and size are important.
“But your mental approach is very important, too; the fact you go 100 per cent all out for every challenge, in attack or defence.”
Everton’s defensive problems have been an issue for Marco Silva to contend with this season. The club have conceded 18 goals in 12 Premier League games, which has seen the club stay around the relegation zone for the majority of the season.
However, over the past few weeks, Silva’s fortunes have changed slightly and that has arrived in tandem with Sidibe’s increased involvement at right-back.
It does seem that the Frenchman has suddenly become an integral part of the manager’s plans, starting in each of Everton’s last four Premier League fixtures.
In this time, Sidibe has managed to build up an average rating of 6.84 in the league and he also provided the all important assist for Richarlison’s winner against Southampton with a sweet cross.
It seems that Bernard’s attitude is clearly rubbing off on Sidibe as he goes from strength to strength within his fresh environment.