Chelsea’s are made the Premier League stand up and take notice by overhauling their attacking options with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner in the transfer window but yet to strengthen their back-line especially centre-back ahead of next season.
The Blues boss Frank Lampard has identified West Ham’s Declan Rice and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez as his top targets but his swoop for Thiago Silva could prove to be his greatest masterstroke.
The PSG skipper will bid farewell to the Ligue 1 champions after Sunday’s Champions League final and a stunning move to Stamford Bridge could be in the offing after it emerged the two parties have been holding talks this week.
Unsurprisingly, Silva, 35, has an array of offers to consider, including one from Serie A side Fiorentina but a move to the England, and to a side that is in next season’s Uefa Champions League, has caught his attention.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has so far backed Frank Lampard to the tune of £231 after impressive guiding his team into the top-four against the odds in his first managerial position at the club.
Lampard splashed out £53million on Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, who striker who scored over 90 goals during his career in Bundesliga. They moved quickly to snap up Hakim Ziyech in February – the technically gifted Morocco winger, who a stand-out performer in the enterprising Ajax side that reached the 2019 Champions League semi-final.
Also another £50million will follow on Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell – the England international has reportedly closing to complete his switch to Stamford Bridge after the Blues reach an agreement with the Foxes.
And finally £90million will follow on Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz – the Germany playmaker is one of Europe’s most coveted talents but his heart is set on Stamford Bridge and a move is close.
But make no mistake, for the embarrassment of riches Lampard bolster his attack, a new defender is needed after his defence faced significant crisis in 2019-20 campaign as they shipped 54 goals in the Premier League.
At 35 and with a lot of medals to show from club level and the international stage with Brazil, Silva can bring the street-smart experience that Chelsea’s defence is badly lacking.
Most experience members of that back-line, such as Cesar Azipilicueta and Antonio Rudiger, struggled to reached their best form last season the emergence of promising youngsters such as Fikayo Tomori and Reece James were immensley encouraging signs for Frank Lampard.
Now, blending a player of Thiago Silva’s calibre into the mix could propel those academy youngsters onto new levels. Furthermore, the 35-year-old has mixed it with the great and the good of European football throughout his career.
During his time at the San Siro, he played with stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and a certain David Beckham. He won Serie A with AC Milan in 2011 before left the Italian side for Paris Saint-Germain.
At PSG, he’s kept on his toes by training against the likes Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi. He has been a mainstay of a side that has dominated French League since he arrived there in 2012 – they’ve won seven league titles that time and he has a chance to bow out with a winners’ medal in the biggest tournament of all – and one that has escaped him in an otherwise glittering career.
Thiago Silva has 89 caps for Brazil after making his debut in 2018 and winning the 2013 Confederation Cup and 2019 Copa America. It is worth remembering too Silva’s organisation skills could help Frank Lampard with his goalkeeping conundrum, as well.
He is clearly unconvinced by £72m stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga and it remains to be seen whether he backs Willy Caballero between the sticks across the course of what is going to be a packed Premier League schedule in 2020-21 campaign.
Frank Lampard has a decision to make there and if he decides to return Kepa, who is still only 25, to No 1 status then Silva’s know-how could boost his confidence as there would be much more cohesion among the defensive line in front of him.