Tuchel says Chelsea star can play more often than expected because he plays in 'protected role'
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insisted he is not worried about Thiago Silva’s heavy workload this season as well as their defence in general amid their injury and Covid-19 crisis.
The centre-back has missed just three out of the 17 Premier League games Chelsea have played this season, with 11 starts in those 14 appearances.
At 37 years old, it is quite incredible how Silva can still be very consistent with his performance.
However, there are always risks that the veteran defender might sustain an injury, which, at his age, would often take longer to recover from.
Bear in mind, Silva was out for a month and missed seven games last season when he last picked up a muscle injury.
It seems that Tuchel is confident that his 3-4-3 system significantly reduces Silva’s load during games, though.
“He’s happy to do so,” the German said about Silva’s having to play more often than most would have expected (via Chelsea’s official website).
“He plays in a protected role in the middle of a back three, so he is not exposed to the maximum intensity of the match.
“That suits him, and he is a good fit. Still, of course, the problem starts with injuries and Covid in the same positions.
“At the moment, Trevoh [Chalobah] comes back, Andreas [Christensen] is there, [Cesar] Azpilicueta can also play in a back-three, so this is not the area we are too concerned.
“We have even the personnel to rotate if we think Thiago needs a break.
“The concern is in central midfield and up front.”
As Tuchel pointed out, Chelsea’s biggest problems currently lie in midfield and the striker role.
Fortunately, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante are now back in training while Jorginho and Ruben Loftus-Cheek remain doubts for Sunday’s clash against Wolves.
Kai Havertz has also tested negative for Covid-19, which hopefully means Tuchel will not have to deploy the likes of Christian Pulisic or Saul Niguez in central forward position again like in midweek.