England's Joe Hart says David Silva is the Premier League's top man

By Phil McNultyChief football writer

Joe Hart believes England will be facing the Premier League's finest player if they come up against his Manchester City team-mate David Silva in Saturday's friendly against Spain.

Silva has been inspirational as City head the Premier League and England keeper Hart labels him "The Magician".

Hart said: "David has been the stand-out player in the Premier League.

"He is a quality person, a quality player and I'd like to see him starting for Spain on Saturday [at Wembley]."

The Manchester City goalkeeper added: "Everything David does is all very easy for him, he doesn't have to pound the training ground looking to improve himself. He is a natural talent, he just glides through a game.

"He has come up against some big players and you'd have thought he would struggle. You thought that he would get eaten alive by some of those people in the Premier League, but he just finds a way out.

"That speaks volumes for him. He doesn't say much after games. He is what he is - a fantastic talent and a great person."

Hart has spent much of the season watching in admiration as City's array of attacking riches have tormented the top flight, building a five-point lead over Manchester United. And while Silva has been the star man, Hart is keen to point out their success is not just down to the brilliant Spaniard alone.

He said: "As great as David is, he would be the first to say that there is no way, shape or form that Manchester City are a one-man side.

"David has some quality players around him. It gives him the opportunity to play more one-against-one, because no team can afford to stick three players on David and think 'that's Manchester City taken care of'.

"He is just a very, very, very good player. There are plenty of them around and I think he is really performing well at the moment in a very good side.

"Jack Rodwell tried to play a man-marking role against him when we played Everton at home and I said to him (Silva): 'get used to it mate because the way you are playing, that's how sides are going to try to deal with you'.

"And he does, he deals with it. He comes in with kicks and bumps but just dusts himself down and gets on with it. He doesn't react - he's just not that kind of guy. It's not like he keeps it in then beats the dressing room up.

"He's a very, very talented guy and I think he knows his ability. Nine times out of 10 if you try and kick him, you'll miss."

Another City team-mate Micah Richards was a surprise omission from England's squad and Hart said: "I was devastated for him from the point of view of being a close friend, then obviously as a colleague.

"I think he's been fantastic this season, like he has been last season, but he'll dust himself down and do everything he can to get back in the side, I'm sure of it."

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