Thiago Silva has been the Premier League’s most accurate passer this season as he proves what his Chelsea teammates said about the experience and calmness he brings wasn’t just talk.
From what we’ve seen so far, his costly error in the 3-3 draw against West Brom was merely a hiccup and the 36-year-0ld has certainly put the unpleasant Premier League debut well and truly behind him.
Since the disastrous first-half at the Hawthorns, Silva has turned into an important figure in Chelsea’s remarkable defensive backline this season, starting in all but one (v Krasnodar) of their last five clean-sheet games.
While we know his defensive quality, the most important thing he has brought to the team is arguably neither the tackles nor the aerial duels he has won — it’s the stability.
Chelsea have always had the athleticism they need from their centre-backs, even before Silva’s arrival.
Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, and Fikayo Tomori have the strength, pace, jumping power you could hope from a defender. But it always felt like they are bound to make an error at some point in the game, and would often crack under pressure.
This is where Silva’s experience came into play.
Obviously, the Brazil international cannot stop his centre-back partner from making an error, but it certainly helps when you have someone who rarely puts a foot wrong that you can always give the ball to in tricky situations.
Silva has the highest passing accuracy rate in the entire Premier League.
📈 Best pass completion percentage this season (Premier League):
— playmakerstats (@playmaker_EN) November 2, 2020
What makes it even more impressive is that he also completed the most long balls per game at Chelsea (6.3 long balls per game per Whoscored, joint-top with Kepa Arrizabalaga) and the third-most among Premier League outfield players (non-goalkeepers, only behind Wolves’ Conor Coady and Everton’s James Rodriguez).
It’s as if Chelsea have an Andrea Pirlo who can outjump you in the air — which is scary.