If Thiago Silva completes his move to Stamford Bridge ahead of the new campaign starting in a fortnight’s time, then the Brazilian’s new team-mates will have his Uefa Champions League final performance fresh in their minds.
The 35-year-old put in a skipper’s performance in Sunday’s Uefa Champions League final despite his side losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the Lisbon spectacle.
It was the final huge bow for Silva in a PSG shirt, as he is widely expected to sign a one-year deal at Stamford Bridge as boss Frank Lampard plans a £200million overhaul of his squad this summer.
And the PSG skipper showed Blues supporters exactly what to expect if he ends up swapping the PSG for the lighter Chelsea one this summer.
The 35-year-old’s presence has been the difference for PSG’s perennial success over the last few seasons. And with Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and potentially Kai Havertz set to drop more talent to Frank Lampard’s attack, Thiago Silva may have to adopt that role once again.
Though Sunday’s performance shows how vital Thiago Silva will be in improving his side’s defensive capabilities. The Blues’ main sources of defense leadership – Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azipilicueta – have struggled for form all season, while there are too many individual error from the likes of Emerson Palmieri, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger.
There was nothing of the sort on the Lisbon pitch last night as Thiago Silva calmed down his side against the free-scoring German giants early on in the final.
The Bundesliga champions did not have a single touch in the opposition penalty area for the first 20 minutes of the game – which was mainly down to the expert positioning and timely interceptions and made by the PSG skipper.
The Brazilian international made six clearances in his PSG side’s penalty area, more than any other player on the pitch, as Bayern Munich failed to score a goal in the opening period for the first time since football restarted in May following the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also more clearances than current Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has achieved in his last five games combined.
One of Thiago Silva’s main objectives in Lisbon last night was to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet to increase PSG’s chances of winning.
The Bundesliga champions have quality all over the pitch, but 55-goal Lewandowski held the keys to PSG’s downfall – so the centre-half had to limit his chances on goal.
The Polish forward certainly put up a challenge for Silva – the PSG skipper looked beaten when Robert Lewandowski peeled away from the 35-year-old to have a clear header on goal following a cross from the right.
The forward could only fire the header near at PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas, while Thiago Silva was on hand to sweep up the rebound.
But the German forward was frustrated by Thiago Silva’s defensive display for most of the final, he was forced to peel off Silva’s marking and onto Juan Bernat to fire a first-half strike against the post.
Though it was his leadership skills that impressed more than his defensive capabilities in the final. Frank Lampard will be happy with the way PSG’s young players react to playing alongside the Brazilian star.
And with players such as Fikayo Tomori and Reece James still saw in their Chelsea careers, Frank Lampard will feel confident in giving the duo a lot of playing time when they have a natural born leader next to them.
Thiago Silva won’t fix everything – the way he was caught high up which left Bayern forward Kingley Coman a lot of space to open the scoring shows there is room for error with the Brazilian.
But the 35-year-old Brazilian international will brings something that only few players have in the Chelsea dressing room he is set to join – Champions League final and title-winning experience.
He will be tasked with delivering the league title to Stamford Bridge, in the same way John Terry kept on leading the west London club to Premier League triumphs until he was 34. He could be the best defender Chelsea have had since the Englishman hung up his boots.