Chelsea have this morning announced that experienced centre-back Thiago Silva has joined the club on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain on a potential two-year deal. Silva provides the central defensive cover that was desperately needed, and the thirty-five year-old arrives at Stamford Bridge with an impressive trophy haul.
The Brazilian has signed an initial one-year contract, with the ability of either side to extend this deal by a further year.
Thiago Silva established his career in Europe at AC Milan, winning both the Scudetto and Supercoppa Italiana and being named in the UEFA Team of the Year in addition. He was also initially exposed to the art of captaincy in Milan – becoming an able deputy to Alessandro Nesta.
Interest from Paris Saint-Germain swiftly followed as the dormant French giants were embarking on their Qatari-funded spending spree. PSG eventually agreed a fee of €42 million with AC Milan in 2012 – making Thiago Silva the then most expensive defender of all-time.
This was to be a well-directed investment by the Parisians as Thiago Silva developed into his world-class prime at the Parc des Princes; becoming a vital cog in the title-winning machine. The Brazilian won seven Ligue 1 and eight Coupe de France titles in eight years in Paris, captaining the team into the Champions League Final in his final season at the club.
He has also had a long and distinguished international career for Brazil. Thiago Silva made his debut for the Selecao in 2008, and he has since appeared at three World Cups and captained Brazil to the Confederations Cup title in 2013. His defensive solidity has been the hallmark of recent Brazilian sides which have noticeably suffered in his absence. He has appeared 89 times for Brazil, scoring seven goals.
Thiago Silva has received praise from high places, being described as ‘the Lionel Messi of defenders’ by Alain Roche in 2013; referring to him as better than Ballon D’Or-winning Fabio Cannavaro. PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi has consistently regarded him as the best defender in world football.
The Brazilian joins Chelsea at the age of thirty-five, wishing to pursue a new challenge after eight years in Paris. In spite of his age he will join as the best centre-half at the club and will mentor the developing young defenders present at the club. It seems likely that Thiago Silva will become vice-captain to Cesar Azpilicueta, marshalling the back-line on the pitch in his absence.
Will Thiago Silva provide the defensive stability we need? Will he start the majority of matches for Chelsea next season? Let us know in the comments below!