Rennes manager Julien Stephan praised Thiago Silva’s “exceptional quality” ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Chelsea.

The 36-year-old is among the Chelsea squad that has travelled to France to face Rennes at Roazhon Park.

The Blues secured a 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Saturday despite the Brazil international’s absence. But his presence will certainly be a confidence boost for the Champions League tie.

Stephan, who is familiar with him from the defender’s days at Paris Saint-Germain, seems to be really fond of Silva’s quality.

Chelsea FC v Stade Rennais: Group E - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Ben Stansall – Pool/Getty Images)

“Thiago Silva is monstrous, I find him exceptional in all areas of the game,” the Rennes head coach told RMC Sport on Monday.

“First of all, by his attitude. He is a great professional who exudes both a lot of authority and humility.

“I find him very strong in the defensive field, in anticipation, in the duel on the ground or in the air.

“I also find him extraordinary on the technical level with the quality of recovery he can have.

“He has already been a very big influence so far for Chelsea and been at a very, very high level for a long time.”

Chelsea v Sheffield United - Premier League
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“Ligue 1 lost an exceptional player”

Stephan also said it is disappointing to lose a player of Silva’s calibre from Ligue 1 and would love to have him under his wing.

“He’s a complete and exceptional player,” he explained.

“It’s unfortunate not to have him in the French league anymore but I think the Premier League now has a very, very high-level defender.

“I would have liked to have him with us but he is not calibrated for clubs like ours but for clubs of a higher level.

“This year he is also in a great team with great ambitions and making a fantastic step in the league after very large recruitment.”

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