According to the latest reports from the most reliable such as David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain who is a free agent this Summer.
Initially, The Telegraph reported that Chelsea had been offered the defender by his agent. Straight away, my reaction was that this was similar to Coutinho, where the agent was offering his client’s availability to as many big clubs as possible in order to stir up some rumours and get him involved in the transfer market.
A few days later, while I was in a middle of a conversation and having a laugh with Mr. CarefreeYouth about the announcement of the Kai Havertz signing, news broke from Liam Twoney from The Athtletic that Chelsea were heavily interested in signing Silva on a free, which was certainly surprising to most Chelsea fans and journalists.
Since then, the news has developed even more, and the signing is looking extremely likely to be completed. So, time to stop the waffling, and actually get into why he would be a great signing… I should also mention that I’m not going to go into a deep scout report on the player, but mainly talk about why he would be a great fit at Chelsea, since anyone who has watched football over the last 15 years know how good of a centre-back the Brazilian is and what he offers on the pitch.
Firstly, the main thing to see is that he is a free agent this Summer, and according to reports is also willing to take a pay cut in order to play in the Premier League. We have already spent a lot of money this Summer with the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, and will be looking to do so even more with Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, as well as a Goalkeeper too. Signing Silva for free means we don’t have to rely on players like Jorginho to be sold in order to get funds for someone like Declan Rice, and it also frees up some more money in other positions, or for us to take a larger loss on players like Bakayoko or Kepa.
I completely understand why Silva’s age may be a worry to some Chelsea fans. Normally, a 35 year old defender who has never played in the Premier League before would struggle immensely with the pace of the game. We also want to be looking into the future as much as possible and buying younger players, whereas Thiago is clearly a much more short term signing. In this case though, I still wouldn’t be worrying too much.
The main question is – is there really anyone else out there who is any better? We have been linked with Ben White, Rice, Jose Gimenez and Lewis Dunk as our main centre-back options. Ben White is just some small interest and Leeds are the only club to put an offer in, Rice would cost closer to 60 million pounds and West Ham are in no position to need to sell. Jose Gimenez has a release clause of around £90m and Chelsea would have to negotiate heavily to get that price down, and Lewis Dunk just signed a new five year deal at Brighton a few days ago. And then, removing price and just looking at quality, Silva is comfortably better than all those players at centre-half and is still showing world class qualities.
His age, this time, shouldn’t be a worry either. Previously, Chelsea’s have kept a one year contract policy for players over the age of 30, and the likes of Lampard and Terry weren’t offered anymore. In more recent times, Luiz and Willian have been offered two, and it has been reliably reported that Silva will get a one year deal with an option to extend for another year. This suggests that we have become a lot less strict on this policy and that if the player is good enough, we’re willing to offer them a good deal (well for Willian not good enough, but he’s crazy.)
And with his age, comes so many positives too. Something which we have needed so many times this season is a mix of leadership and quality throughout the team. Thiago certainly adds to that. He’s played at the top level for so many years, knows what it’s like to win trophies, and although he may not speak the most amazing English, he’ll make sure that everyone in the squad knows their place. His experience and ability is certainly something which the likes of Tomori can learn from if he stays, or for a new signing like Declan Rice or Ben White to endeavour.
And obviously, he still is one of the best centre halves in the world. Despite losing 1-0 last night in the Champions League Final to Bayern Munich, he still managed to show a solid display. Comfortable on the ball, great positioning including a goal line clearance as well as some tactical fouling which eventually stopped a 1v1, something we have desperately missed so many times last season. He wasn’t afraid to throw his body at the ball either, very JT like, and their characters can certainly be compared in this sense.
Finally, the area which he’ll be able to help us the most in my opinion is his aerial ability, both defensively and offensively. Defensively, he will make sure that everyone is in the right place and his height will aid with clearing the ball, and offensively we haven’t scored at all from set pieces recently, and something which we could easily do with if we ever struggle with breaking a team down.
There is no doubt that Thiago Silva will be a great player for us, and for free we cannot complain. But, there may even be a few more signings in the defence soon….
Written by Paree