Mancini predicts Silva success
Roberto Mancini insists David Silva can become a Premier League star after brushing aside Salzburg.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 16/09/10 9:42pm
Roberto Mancini insists David Silva can become a Premier League star after setting Manchester City on course for a comfortable 2-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg.
The Spanish playmaker has endured a slow start at City since his big-money move from Valencia, with his late return from the World Cup and two lengthy international trips to Mexico and Argentina hardly helping his cause.
But the 24-year-old was handed his first start since the Europa League play-off first leg against FC Timisoara and took little time to give a glimpse of why the Mancini splashed out on him this summer.
Silva started behind a front two of Carlos Tevez and Jo, and swept City into an eighth-minute lead in Austria with his first goal for the club.
Brazilian striker Jo then claimed his first City goal in two years in the 63rd minute to secure victory in the Blues' opening Group A clash.
"David is the fantastic player, and for him it is a different situation now," said Mancini.
"He is playing a different kind of football. But after one month, he is ready to go 100% for the team.
"He will be an important player for the future. He is a strong player who played for Valencia in the Champions League for many years."
Mancini denied Silva was too lightweight to make an impact in England, even though his diminutive frame does appear more suited to the European style.
"He knows how to play football," added the Italian coach. "Arsenal have two or three players like David and they play very well.
"David can play in every position. For Valencia he played either right or left wing but I think this position is the best for him."
Mancini also had words of praise for Jo, who was handed his first City start since December 2008 having been spent on loan at both Everton and Galatasaray.
Jo's fourth goal for the club ensured City went straight to the top of Group A with Juventus having drawn 3-3 at home to Polish minnows Lech Poznan, and the Blues host the Italian giants in two weeks' time.
"For strikers it is important to score goals," said Mancini.
"Jo has scored an important goal and I hope he continues to play like he did tonight.
"We are talking about two important players. For me, my players are the best players in the world."
Salzburg coach Huub Stevens refused to discuss City's performance, or their status as tournament favourites.
However, he did admit the Austrian champions had underperformed having given the Blues very little to worry about.
"We did not start very well, and if you are not on top of your game in the first 10 minutes against a team such as Manchester City, it is always going to be a struggle," said Stevens.
"We gave City too much space, and they had too much room to get at our defence."