Thiago Silva Is the Perfect Short-Term Solution for Chelsea

Tom Gott
Chelsea are in talks with Thiago Silva
Chelsea are in talks with Thiago Silva / TF-Images/Getty Images
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As one of a select few teams with sizeable spending power this summer, Chelsea are looking to take advantage and make a real splash.

That's why Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner were signed, and it's why Kai Havertz is next on the agenda. The Blues probably weren't his first choice 12 months ago, but now, they're his only choice, and fans are just waiting for the next blockbuster name to arrive at Stamford Bridge.

However, despite all the expensive signings, Chelsea's smartest bit of business might just be a free transfer. Enter Thiago Silva.

Chelsea are now in advanced talks with the 35-year-old over a potential move to Stamford Bridge this summer after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires, in a move which actually looks a little underwhelming on paper.

After all, the Blues had been tipped to throw £80m at West Ham's Declan Rice or Atlético Madrid's José Giménez. A long-term addition to the team's young core looked to be on the cards. But it's not.

With Frank Lampard prioritising Havertz, a new left-back and even a new goalkeeper, there simply isn't £80m to spend on a new centre-back as well. That's why Chelsea have been looking at B-list options like Brighton's Lewis Dunk, who comes with a hefty £50m price tag and has just penned a new long-term contract.

Dunk has been considered
Dunk has been considered / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

It seems like the powers at be at Stamford Bridge are well aware that dropping £50m on Dunk would be ridiculous, which is a pleasant change from the hierarchy which would throw that kind of money around without even thinking about it (Danny Drinkwater cost £35m by the way).

With Lampard at the helm and Petr Čech working alongside director Marina Granovskaia, Chelsea don't make those kinds of decisions anymore. If a signing doesn't make sense, it won't be pursued. That's why an £80m move for Rice is looking unlikely and £50m on Dunk doesn't look like happening either.

Chelsea's need for a new centre-back is obvious, but the problem with this summer is that the quality of defenders on offer is pretty low. Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the only top-tier options available, but shelling out £70m on a 29-year-old isn't happening.

Lampard may struggle to find his dream centre-back this summer
Lampard may struggle to find his dream centre-back this summer / Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

You then drop down to the likes of Dunk, who is a solid, but unspectacular defender. He'd be a smart signing, but not at £50m. Not when there's other business to be done.

Instead of spending silly money on an underwhelming defender, Chelsea could save themselves big bucks by pursuing Silva, who boasts 11 years of top-flight experience. He could come in and bring that leadership and organisation which Chelsea are crying out for, and he would do it for comparatively cheap.

Sure, his legs aren't what they once were and their are doubts over whether he still has the physicality to hang in the Premier League, but Chelsea have agility and power in abundance at the back already. Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma all offer a fascinating blend of that, but one thing that quartet does not have is leadership.

Silva's level of experience is perfect
Silva's level of experience is perfect / Xavier Laine/Getty Images

That's why bringing in Silva this summer could be a smart move. He'd bring Chelsea exactly what they need for at least one year, after which the search for a new centre-back could be reignited.

Next summer, the landscape could be completely different. Rice or Giménez could be cheaper. RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano will find himself with another affordable release clause (side note: why did nobody just buy him this summer?). Another superstar could emerge from nowhere. Who knows?

Chelsea will find themselves at a financial advantage next summer. They won't need to sign attackers, midfield should still be fine, full-backs should be sorted and a new goalkeeper might be found this summer (an elite one may even be affordable if no money needs to be saved), so their only focus will be at centre-back.

Silva would give Chelsea another year to find a better target
Silva would give Chelsea another year to find a better target / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

That's when the big money can be spent, and it should be spent. Signing Silva would give Chelsea a chance to bide their time and make a major splash next summer.

Don't forget, this is a long-term project. Lampard isn't targeting world domination next season. The rebuild doesn't need to be completed immediately. Patience is key.


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