Fulham manager Marco Silva has praised Chelsea midfield pair Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez ahead of the West London derby at Craven Cottage.
Chelsea have broken the UK transfer record twice this year, signing Fernandes from Benfica for £106.8m in January and then beating Liverpool to confirm Caicedo’s £115m move from Brighton in August.
Silva talked about how the pair’s price reflects their abilities and expects them to fight Harrison Reed and Joao Palinha on Monday.
“Enzo joined us in January and Caicedo in the summer,” Silva said. “They are high quality. We are talking about two players they almost spent £250 million on.
“It speaks volumes about the quality and how much they wanted them on their team.
“Plus (Conor) Gallagher in midfield, they have the quality, the energy, they have the organization to create a very good battle with our midfield line and I think it will be a very good battle because they have that quality.” .
Alex Iwobi’s second-half strike during Wednesday’s 2-1 League Cup third-round win over Norwich was his first Fulham goal since his £22million deadline day move from Everton.
Silva, who also signed Iwobi to coach Everton in 2019, spoke about the Nigeria international’s versatility and what he brings to his team.
“It was very good (Iwobi’s performance against Norwich),” Silva added.
“He’s a player I know very well, he knows the Premier League so well and he’s a mature player. He has quality, he can play in different positions and is a player who will give us the quality we need in certain parts of the game.
“It also provides extra energy. It was good for him to score in his first game in a Fulham shirt and I want to see more of him.
“He’s going to be a very important player for us and I’m happy for him because he started his first game.”
From Chelsea’s starting line-up during their 2-1 defeat to Fulham in January, only Thiago Silva and Trevo Chalobah remain at the club.
Silva said: “They are different, and we are different too. I think the game will be completely different. We may look at some things, but it will be different. They have a different manager.”