Thomas Tuchel says it is not the right time to discuss the future of Thiago Silva, but praised the leadership qualities of the Chelsea defender.
Silva left PSG, where he had played under Tuchel, as a free agent in the summer. The pair would be reunited in just a matter of months, though.
The defender signed up at Chelsea for the start of the season and has cemented his place in the side, defying his years.
Tuchel then followed him to the English capital when replacing Frank Lampard as manager in January. Silva has retained an important role under his ‘new’ boss – even when he hasn’t been on the pitch.
The Brazilian was seen celebrating enthusiastically from the stands in Chelsea’s Champions League win over Atletico Madrid in midweek.
When he returns to the pitch, he will make his influence felt in another way. But with his contract expiring at the end of the season, Chelsea will be anxious to try and keep him.
Recent reports indicated that Chelsea have put the ball in Silva’s court over a new contract, but his decision will arrive in the coming days or weeks.
Tuchel has urged patience over the situation, but praised the qualities of the veteran defender.
“Well, I know Thiago now for many years,” Tuchel told reporters. “We had a fantastic partnership in Paris.
“He was an absolutely reliable captain for me as a coach from the first minute I stepped in.
“Once he is part of the team he is 100% part of the team, 100% professional and he’s a very emotional guy.
“All three of them, Mason [Mount], Jorgi [Jorginho] and Thiago, were completely involved in the game and that makes them involved in the moment. I heard them during the game coaching and supporting the players. I felt the same thing from Willy [Caballero] and Kepa [Arrizabalaga] on the bench.
“If we want to have special results and moments, we need to have a special atmosphere. This doesn’t change in football from the highest level or to the park. This is what football can do.
“To create an atmosphere like this you can totally rely on Thiago. He lives for the team he plays for. He suffers like he did and he was so happy for Emerson [Palmieri] to score like the other.
“On his contract, it is too early. It’s not the right surrounding to speak about it. It’s between him and the club and between the club and I; we will speak about it together.
“If you look at the pictures, you see how young he looks. He ran the stairs up and down and was dressed like a 28-year-old so I think there is still a way to go.”
Tuchel hopes to have Abraham back
Silva will not be in action in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final with Sheffield United on Sunday.
However, Tuchel was able to provide a glimmer of hope for another player who has been on the sidelines recently, Tammy Abraham.
Despite a scare in training, the striker could be available again for Tuchel at the weekend.
“Tammy was with the group today,” Tuchel confirmed. “We had a bit of a scary moment because he stumbled again and twisted his ankle.
“It was a painful moment but hopefully nothing too serious. I hope he is in the squad on Sunday.”