Fulham boss compares Silva with Mata

Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen believes Manchester City’s David Silva fully deserves to be nicknamed the ‘little genius’.

Manuel Pellegrini’s title-chasing side visit Craven Cottage as strong favourites on Saturday and the Whites boss is full of admiration for the Spanish playmaker, who he sees as similar to Chelsea’s Juan Mata.

“I’m a very big fan of Silva. I really like that style of player – one who finds spaces all the time, and just does things fluently,” the Dutchman said.

“Players like Silva punish the thought that those with a lack of size and strength should be overlooked.

“They call Silva the little genius – and he is. He is definitely a guy that gives Man City rhythm. He comes up with solutions in behind.”

Meulensteen added: “Juan Mata is a similar sort of player – not the tallest or the strongest – and he had an excellent season last year.

“It comes down to two things; a quick mind and quick feet.”

And Meulensteen expects City and Chelsea to emerge as the two main contenders for the Premier League title this season.

“City will be strongly pushing for the title. It’s going to be tight with them and Chelsea if you ask me,” he said.

“They’re a great club with great players and we have to test ourselves. It’s a task for us, especially on the back of their performances against Bayern Munich and Arsenal.”

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