Spaniard Silva has been lauded by Manchester City fans as one of their greatest - if not the greatest - ever players and Boyata got to train with and play alongside the playmaker during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
But the 24-year-old says Mackay-Steven of Celtic is 'just like' Silva in how he surges down the wing and takes people on.
The former Manchester City defender told the Scotsman: "Wingers like that, who are quick, can take people on and can score goals, are a real plus for the game. You always need the special players that can do something that the other players can’t.
"I haven’t played in a one-v-one against him but he looks really sharp and if I see him running at me very quickly I think I will just jog back!
"I am not the player who is going to take the player on one versus one to score the goal but Gary is like that just like Silva."
Mackay-Steven was hailed ever since his arrival at Parkhead and, the odd disappointing performance aside, the Celtic winger has flourished in the Scottish Premiership, as well as against Inter Milan in the Europa League.
Pace and width are two key areas many sides actually desperately lack, meaning the 24-year-old gives the Bhoys an edge they can exploit all the time domestically.
In the Champions League, Mackay-Steven will obviously need to raise his game in accordance with the occasion. But he certainly has Boyata's backing if he can see the Silva lining.