This season, Chelsea look like the side of old mostly thanks to Thiago Silva‘s addition. They are the league‘s top-scorers and boast the division’s joint-second best defensive record.

Frank Lampard’s success this term has been credited to the numerous attacking summer signings made. Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz have 14 goals between them in all competitions this campaign.

Yet, it is the Blues’ defensive signing of Silva, which has seen the side looked more assured in both departments. And it is his inclusion and his growing influence on the side, which makes him an integral member of the side.

So much so, the Blues cannot afford to leave him out, especially after international commitments.

The Silva lining

The side have kept just one clean sheet without him this term and have only won one game without him too.

Silva joined the west Londoners on a free transfer, having left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. He has since brought confidence, leadership, bravery and experience to an otherwise bereft team.

The side conceded their second-worst defensive record in the Premier League era last campaign, 54 goals.

Coupled with Silva’s know-how and the impressive Edouard Mendy, who has performed admirably between the sticks, the Blues look more like a side competing at the highest level again.

Chelsea Training Session & Press Conference
COBHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Jorginho and Thiago Silva of Chelsea during a training session at Chelsea Training Ground on November 6, 2020 in Cobham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Silva’s significance

Silva has helped to keep six clean sheets in all competitions for the Blues, the first of which coming in the Carabao Cup third round.

However, his league debut didn’t get off to the best of starts. He made a costly error as West Brom put three goals past Chelsea in the first half. Although, the Pensioners eventually rescued a point.

 

Since that performance however, he has been terrific. He produced a sublime display against Manchester United, the second of three successive league clean sheets.

He then capped off his most recent league appearance with a goal against Sheffield United.

The Brazilian, who was beginning to get into a rhythm is now set to miss the weekend’s encounter against Newcastle. This is due lengthy travelling conditions from his native South America, according to Frank Lampard.

Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, the Blues boss mentioned that he was unlikely to be involved.

“Thiago Silva has just landed and messaged me this afternoon so he probably won’t be going to Newcastle because of the length of his journey and timings.”

Chelsea v Southampton - Premier League
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: Kepa Arrizabalaga is beaten from a Jannik Vestergaard (not in picture) header during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge on October 17, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Without Silva

Chelsea conceded three times against Southampton, when Silva was absent. They also failed to keep clean sheets against Brighton on matchday one and were convincingly beaten by Liverpool, without Silva.

The Blues were also pegged back and beaten on penalties by rivals Tottenham in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

It is games like these where Chelsea are crying out for a leader and that can only be the skipper Thiago Silva.

It remains to be seen what discussions ensue among Lampard and his Brazilian counterpart Tite. But if the Blues are to stand a chance of winning silverware, it can only be with the veteran defender, and he has to consider where his priorities lie.

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