Bruce says Sunderland are feeling the benefit of his 'slow and steady' approach to blooding new signing Da Silva.
"Paulo's typical of the South Americans," Bruce told safc.com. "I knew he'd come in and take some time to get used to things. England is like no other place.
"I've kept him on the back-burner and introduced him slowly. He's had three months or so now to get used to how we play and I think he's starting to show why he's captain of his country.
"I played him at Tottenham in what I think is his best position - as the left-sided central defender - and he did very, very well on the day. He's kept improving and I'm very pleased with him.
Even the language barriers are coming down, as evidenced by the defender's vocal style on the field of play. Bruce laughed: "His English is coming along as well, in fact he's taking an exam shortly!"