Frank Lampard hails Thiago Silva’s influence in Chelsea defence
Frank Lampard has hailed Thiago Silva’s “huge” influence on Chelsea’s new-look defence.
Brazil stalwart Silva has helped the Blues rack up five consecutive clean sheets for the first time since October 2010, with new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy pulling off six shut-outs in succession himself.
Paris St Germain recruit Silva has had an immediate calming effect on Chelsea’s defence, with Lampard suitably impressed by the 36-year-old’s Stamford Bridge start.
“His influence has been huge; even without the language his professionalism has been very clear, that rubs off on players, they respect him,” said Lampard.
“His performances have been very, very good. He manages himself, he trains well, he prepares well, it’s very obvious from him and understandable why he’s had the amazing career he’s had so far.
“And it’s been great to have him as part of the squad.
“I think players look up to him in how he goes about his daily business and how he performs.
“It’s great for younger players, every player in the squad.
“It’s certainly a pleasure to coach and manage a player with that much intensity in wanting to perform at the highest level.
“We’re managing him slightly, but when you look at his performances and how he trains, it’s just been a real positive story so far.
“Long may it continue not just for him but for the influence he has on the team.”
Chelsea will host Sheffield United in Saturday’s Premier League encounter, with Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga fit again after shoulder trouble.
Senegal international Mendy should continue with the gloves but the Blues must again do without Christian Pulisic.
The USA forward suffered hamstring damage in the warm-up and was withdrawn from Chelsea’s 3-0 Premier League win at Burnley.
The 22-year-old had tentatively returned to training earlier this week, but now Blues boss Lampard has admitted Chelsea are still looking to solve Pulisic’s problem.
Asked if Pulisic would be involved against the Blades, Lampard said: “No, he’s not fit to play; he’s still suffering with his hamstring.
“He’s not training at the moment. He trained at a low level in midweek but he wasn’t comfortable, so we have to keep looking for the right solution.
“Kepa has recovered, he’s still getting a slight bit of pain but he’s in the squad.”
Kai Havertz missed Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League win over Rennes after testing positive for Covid-19 and will also sit out the weekend’s league match.
The Germany playmaker now faces a wait to discover whether he will be able to be involved in his country’s upcoming fixtures.
Asked if Havertz will be able to link up with the Germany squad, Lampard said: “I don’t know that, we have to wait until he’s symptom-free first of all.
“And then when he takes his test, we’ll have to try for him to return a negative test.
“So at the minute it’s not decided, it’s not clear.”