Micah Richards says Chelsea have 'one of the best defenders' in PL – it's not Antonio Rudiger

Micah Richards has labelled Chelsea defender Thiago Silva one of the finest in the Premier League.

Speaking on BBC Monday Night Club, Richards credited the way Silva has settled into the English top flight with relative ease.

Chelsea managed to bag the Brazilian last summer for no up-front cost, a very good deal considering the calibre of player they were signing.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Although his initial impressions of the Premier League must have been a little frightening – 3-3 away to West Bromwich Albion – he gradually found his feet and form.

Despite age not being on Silva’s side – he turns 37 tomorrow – the wealth of experience already stored in the bank has served him massively.

The centre-back rewound the clock at the weekend against Tottenham Hotspur, showing the spirit and energy of a recently turned 20-year-old.

A goal and man of the match award bore the fruits of a fantastic exhibition from the former Paris-Saint Germain captain.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Silva shines

Silva’s performance in particular caught the imagination of pundits and rivals alike.

“I watched something on his social media a couple of months ago and he was going through tactics with his son, looking at games, looking at clips,” said Richards.

“He doesn’t just rest on his laurels, he wants to improve and Chelsea getting him is just an absolute steal.

“They get him on a free contract and he’s one of the best defenders in the Premier League. He can play as well.

“Have you seen how comfortable he is on the ball? He always wants the ball, always plays forward.”

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

While Silva snatched the headlines against Spurs for his era-defining display, another of Chelsea’s centre-halves etched their name on the scoresheet.

Antonio Rudiger rolled home the Blues’ third on Sunday, sending a small section of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium into a song and dance.

Rudiger has arguably been the most impressive performer following Thomas Tuchel’s appointment in January.

“Since Tuchel has come in, I think (Rudiger) has arguably been the best centre-back,” argued Rio Ferdinand.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

By Richards’ and Ferdinand’s reckoning, Chelsea have two of the elite professionals in their position in the league.

It’s hard to debate that based on the Blues’ foothold at the summit of the mountain.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

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.