Darren Bent showered Everton attacker Bernard with praise and backed the winger to be able to help Marco Silva out.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former England international described Bernard as being a game changer who could help save Silva’s job as Toffees boss.
Bernard made a brief cameo appearance during the Toffees’ 2-1 loss to Leicester City on Sunday after previously missing his side’s last three league matches due to a knee injury.
Bent explained that Silva may have to throw Bernard into the mix sooner than he would have wanted as no one had successfully taken the winger’s spot while he was out injured.
When asked whether a fit-again Bernard can save Silva’s job, Bent told Football Insider: “Yeah he is definitely a game changer and it was disappointing when he got injured.
“He was playing really well, he’s got pace, he’s can score goals, he can create goals and I think he was on a little bit of form before his injury, so obviously he was on the way up.
“He comes back now and what will happen is that he’ll be thrown into the mix a little bit sooner than Silva would have wanted as no one has really stepped up to take his position as their own.”
The 27-year-old winger racked up two goals in his nine league outings across all competitions ahead of getting injured.
Bernard arrived at Goodison Park in August 2018 after joining the Toffees from Ukrainian side Shaktar Donestk and is contracted to stay with the club until 2022.