Two members of Chelsea’s defensive pool of players have already confirmed what was hoped and expected when Thiago Silva signed for the Blues – that the Brazilian brings with him leadership both on and off the pitch.
Kurt Zouma and Ben Chilwell were in the side with Thiago Silva that won our most recent game before the international break, and kept a clean sheet during it too. They have each noticed the impact their colleague has had from the word go.
Fellow central defender Zouma begins to explain.
‘You can see straightaway, as soon as he [Thiago Silva] walked through the door at Cobham, he gives advice to the players around him, he’s really good with people and you can definitely see he has very good leadership skills.
‘Everyone has welcomed Thiago into the group and we are all happy he’s with us at Chelsea.
‘I’m very excited to work with Thiago,’ he added on a personal note, ‘but I don’t think I’m the only one, a lot of the guys here at Chelsea feel exactly the same. We are all excited to play with him and to learn from him. He’s got great experience at the highest level, he’s won a lot of titles and last season he played in the Champions League final.
‘For me, he’s got everything. He’s calm on the ball, he can defend very well, his positioning is great. I’m very happy he’s here and excited to learn from him.’
There is however one area in which the others around Thiago Silva can assist him at Chelsea rather than the other way around.
‘He doesn’t speak English that well just yet but he speaks French, so I can help him with that and so can a few other boys,’ Zouma confirms.
Although Chilwell does not have the benefit of that shared language, he too has found the presence of the player who joined him in joining Chelsea in August an important one.
‘Ever since he came in the building, when he is in the room he has a presence about him, and he makes everyone want to do well and standards will never slip, which they shouldn’t anyway,’ said the left-back.
‘He demands quality and assures the whole team around him so it is great to have him in there with us, and he talks throughout the whole game.’