'Went missing' - Exclusive: Bent urges Silva to axe Everton mainstay who can 'destroy people'
Darren Bent has urged Everton boss Marco Silva to axe Bernard from the starting XI in order to bring Alex Iwobi into the side after their defeat to Aston Villa.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and England striker says that the former Arsenal man, who arrived at Goodison Park in a deadline day transfer deal this summer, is exactly what the Toffees need after a lacklustre performance against the Villans.
Dean Smith’s side ran out 2-0 winners last Friday, with Silva opting for Brazilian pair Richarlison and Bernard to run the flanks, Iwobi coming off the bench in the second half.
Bent insists that the energy and dynamism shown by the 23-year-old at Villa Park was exactly what the Toffees were missing, leaving him urging Silva to replace Bernard with his new arrival.
Bent told Football Insider: “You can never question his work rate and quality. What Everton need are players with energy and a bit of creativity – he can provide that.
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“For me he’s a wide man, I’d play him out wide, get him one-on-one with the full-back and let him cause problems. Neither Richarlison nor Bernard did anything.
“I’d start with Richarlison because I like him, I think he’ll get you a goal but Bernard, we know he’s got creative quality and can destroy people one-v-one, but he went missing, didn’t produce the goods. His place is under threat.”
Iwobi’s 28 minutes against Villa were his first for Everton after swapping north London for Merseyside, with a total of 101 Premier League appearances under his belt to date.
Bernard meanwhile has started every one of the club’s league fixtures this season, including scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Watford on the second weekend of the campaign.