Fulham boss lauds bargain buy as Chelsea theory shot down with £250million admission
FULHAM vs CHELSEA: Marco Silva is looking to inflict more misery on Mauricio Pochettino’s injury-ravaged Blues in Monday night’s west London derby at Craven Cottage

Marco Silva says it’s impossible to compare Fulham’s squad with big-spending Chelsea but believes that in Bernd Leno, the Cottagers have one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

The German international has kept back-to-back clean sheets in the top-flight and now Silva is hoping to make it three on the bounce against Mauricio Pochettino’s stuttering side.

Silva said ahead of Monday’s west London derby: “I keep saying it but in my opinion Leno’s one of the best three goalkeepers in the division. He proved that last season and he’s going to keep proving it this season.

“His quality speaks for itself, we feel he’s at a top, top level.”.

Leno cost Fulham an initial £3million in the summer of 2022 but the Cottagers also paid Arsenal an additional £2m in bonuses after securing Premier League safety last term. When asked where Leno ranks among Fulham’s best signings since Silva’s appointment in the summer of 2021, the Portuguese tactician showered his No.1 in further praise.

“He is one of the best, I’m 100 per cent sure,” Silva added. “I keep repeating that he deserves much more credit for what he’s been doing and our fans should really enjoy having a goalkeeper like him in our shirt.

“He’s so, so easy to work with. Every time he comes through that gate it’s with ambition, desire and he’s always in a good mood to work.”

Leno has proven to be a rare bargain during an era when transfer valuations have exploded to jaw-dropping heights. Chelsea’s spending has now surpassed the £1billion mark under Todd Boehly and for that very reason, Silva strongly refuted suggestions his side could use their impressive squad depth to their advantage against their injury-ravaged opponents.

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He said passionately: “I’ll tell you something – Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo have cost Chelsea nearly £250million. If I start to say more players, I will say probably £1billion in the past 12 months or so.

“It’s impossible to compare our squads but in terms of the game – it’s going to be 11 players versus 11 players.

“I’m 100 per cent sure we are going to give our all but you can’t find an advantage for us. The only one you can say for me is that we are playing at home and that’s a good one because we love to play at home.”

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