Sterling is enjoying some of the best form of his career.
“I said years ago when I first set eyes on him 'what a player!'," said Silva.
“He's an incredible player and he can be one of the best players in the world and he's certainly performing very well."
Silva also claims City's 6-1 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford seven years ago was the moment the balance of power shifted in their favour.
“United commanded a lot of respect then, but it changed from when we won there 6-1," he said.
“The mentality changed that day. Now I think we are held in great esteem.
“The result, the fact that it was at United and the respect United commanded, makes it one derby that will forever go down in history."