Reports broke earlier in the week that Thiago Silva is set to sign another contract extension at Chelsea that would see his playing career carry on past his 39th birthday. In a season full of signings but regression on the pitch, this news will come to the delight of the supporters.
It has been said countless times already over the past two-and-a-half years just how remarkable the Brazilian defender has been for the Blues since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020. He was key in their second Champions League triumph in 2021, has undoubtedly been their most consistent star since he joined, and is still regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the game.
While a new deal for the veteran will no doubt be a huge boost for the back line, as well as the overall organisation of the team, by extending his stay by another 12 months, manager Graham Potter has to make the most of having him around.
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Not only is Silva key on the pitch, he is just as key off it for Potter. The Blues boss knows things have not gone to script since he took the reins at Stamford Bridge in September and the defence, bar Silva, has been of great concern. This is where the stalwart defender comes in. Having spent the past two decades in professional football, which has seen him win 33 honours both domestically and internationally, Silva offers Potter a wealth of experience that he will struggle to find anywhere else.
As much as his best defender, Potter has to utilise Silva as a potential coach so that when the former AC Milan defender decides to move on or hang up his boots, the team will be in a much better position than it currently is. The former Brighton boss should be tasking Silva with aiding in the development of the young centre-halves in SW6.
The players that could benefit the most from his guidance are the likes of Trevoh Chalobah, new signing Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana, and academy graduate Bashir Humphreys. For those players, there are not many centre-backs as talented and knowledgeable to learn from than Silva.
You can see he is one of the most respected players in the dressing room and that is because he is a born leader. With this set to be his second contract extension with the Blues, it is clear that the passionate fire to keep playing the beautiful game still burns inside him.
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has invested over £500 million on new players since the summer and so far the Blues have not been reaping the rewards as they languish in 10th, 10 points off the top four.
Should Silva put pen to paper on another one-year-deal at Chelsea, it would be fair to assume that it could be his last (as a player at least). Potter and his staff need to effectively treat the seasoned defender as a defensive coach and use him to help leave the squad’s defensive ranks in much better shape than where they are presently when the summer of 2024 rolls around.
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