Manchester City defender Micah Richards has heaped praise on team-mate David Silva, insisting the midfielder is the best player he has played with.
The Spaniard was a clear standout for City in Saturday's 3-1 win over West Ham, providing an assist for Sergio Aguero before scoring a goal of his own.
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Richards believes Silva has had more of an impact at the Etihad than the likes of Patrick Vieira, Mario Balotelli and Aguero.
"The only way I can stop him in training is if I smash him," Richards said. "He doesn't come near me now! We have an agreement -- you don't come near me, I won't hurt you. We call him Merlin. He's like a little wizard isn't he? He is class.
"At West Ham he was just ridiculous. He is the best player I have played with. He just makes it look easy, the way he goes past people. He is just amazing."
City went into half-time at Upton Park with a slender 1-0 lead and manager Manuel Pellegrini attempted to fire his troops by telling them Manchester United had won, despite David Moyes' side dropping points against Southampton.
"I didn't know United had conceded a late equaliser," Richards added. "The manager said they had won, and that Arsenal and Chelsea had won so we thought we had to win against West Ham. Maybe it was a bit of reverse psychology. We just knew we had to win. We couldn't drop points."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.