‘A great addition’: Petr Cech says one Chelsea player has really ‘impressed’ him since his arrival in 2020

Petr Cech admitted to being captivated by Thiago Silva’s commitment and class since joining Chelsea.

Writing for the club website, the iconic goalkeeper paid homage to another great of the game who is still going strong at the highest level.

A shaky start

Silva has been something of a revelation for the Blues, despite the Brazilian’s confirmed status as a legend of the centre-back genre.

Some questioned whether he had the capability to cope with the intensity of the Premier League, having spent nearly a decade in the far less ferocious landscape of Ligue 1.

Photo by Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images

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After being signed by Frank Lampard on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, the defender took a little time to adjust to his new surroundings.

His first start in the English top-flight ended with a 3-3 draw away to West Bromwich Albion, the team he would be sent off against later in the campaign.

Already, those doubts began to burn even deeper.

Golden Silva

However, pretty much from that point on, Silva steadied the ship and sailed to heights many didn’t believe were possible.

Almost unfathomably, the 37-year-old has got better with time.

Some of his performances this season deserve a chapter all too themselves.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

The fact only five outfield players have made more appearances for Chelsea in 2021/22 than Silva says a lot about not only his importance, but also his longevity.

“We are all impressed by Thiago. We always believed he would be exactly what he has become to us,” admitted Cech.

“He has proven it, and you can see what a great addition he has been.

“When you look at Thiago, you don’t see any differences between him playing 10 years ago and now. That’s the impressive part.”

Like a fine wine

Silva’s ability to stay available at his age is a testament to the way he trains and looks after his body.

Like the fellow veterans of the sport – Cristiano Ronaldo, James Milner, Zlatan Ibrahimovic – the vitality of rest and recovery cannot be understated.  

“The way he trains is the key. He also trains fully concentrated and with full commitment,” continued Cech about Silva’s superb fitness.  

“He looks after himself and this is why he is able to play at this high level for such a long time.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“Put it together with his experience and immense talent, and that’s why he is so successful even when he is getting older.”

Chelsea can call upon Silva for at least another season after he signed a new contract until 2023.

We doubt there will be any difference between now and next summer, other than a few extra grey hairs.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.