Premier League • England

Chelsea warned crucial asset ‘can’t move his feet’ as they’re forced to seek replacement transfer

Thiago Silva, Robert Sanchez, Axel Disasi, Chelsea, August 2023

Thiago Silva, Robert Sanchez, Axel Disasi in debate during Chelsea game

Former Liverpool player Steve Nicol has told Chelsea that crucial defender Thiago Silva “can’t move his feet” quick enough and will invite “pressure” on his side.

Silva moved to Stamford Bridge as a 35-year-old, having already had a phenomenal career. The Brazilian had made 119 appearances for AC Milan – captaining them from a young age – where he won Serie A and the Italian Super Cup.

That paved the way for a big move to Paris Saint-Germain, where he won a total of 25 trophies in eight years. The centre-back also won the Confederations Cup with Brazil in 2013 as well as the Copa America in 2018/19.

As such, he could have hung his boots up after leaving PSG, happy with having led an illustrious career.

However, Silva clearly had more to give, as 132 Chelsea appearances and a Champions League medal later, he’s still one of the Blues’ most important assets.

Indeed, only two men have played more minutes than the 39-year-old for the Blues this season.

He signed a one-year contract extension at the end of last season, and given he seems to still be going strong, Chelsea might want to give him the same offer at the end of this campaign, when his deal is up.

However, Nicol does not believe Silva has the physical attributes to keep going.

Silva ‘can’t move his feet’

Indeed, the ESPN pundit feels he’s becoming a liability, and his performance in Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United last time out highlighted that he’s not the player he once was.

“Thiago Silva has been magnificent as a player but now, the problem for me is he can’t move his feet quick enough,” Nicol said.

“I think his brain is still working, but when you can’t move your feet, it takes too long.

“When you’re playing against players like at Man United who just couldn’t wait to close the ball down, couldn’t wait to put you under pressure, then you end up getting caught with the ball and you give the ball away.”

As per Whoscored, Silva has only had one worse-rated performance in the Premier League than the United game all season.

That suggests he maybe just had an off day, as he’d largely been useful up until that point.

Chelsea looking into long-term replacement

Whether or not Chelsea are looking to keep Silva beyond this season or not, they are looking for somebody to replace him long-term, knowing even if he does stay, it’ll only be for a short period.

Indeed, it’s reported they’ve got their eye on Jonathan Tah, who Manchester United also want.

The report stated Tah ‘could be the successor’ of Silva.

He might well be that if they sign him, but whether that’s with or without the Brazilian also at the club remains to be see.

READ MORE: Chelsea sense opportunity to snatch £70m star as relationship disintegrating with Euro giants