Reece James says it’s an absolute joy playing alongside ‘quality’ Chelsea teammate

Reece James has revealed his love for playing alongside Thiago Silva at Chelsea.

Speaking to football.london, James gushed over his fellow defender, highlighting the enjoyment of sharing a changing room together.

Silva has certainly had a similar effect on many of those stationed at Stamford Bridge.

The golden era of Silva

Since his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain in 2020, the 37-year-old has been one of Chelsea’s most consistent performers.

Which, regardless of his age, is some achievement considering the centre-back’s prior lack of Premier League experience.

But because of the Brazilian’s wider footballing expertise, it didn’t take him long to adjust to the nature of the English top flight.

He quickly established himself as a pivotal figure in defence, growing further in stature following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel last January.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Despite winning the Champions League, this season has arguably been even more special for Silva on a personnel level.

Injuries meant he missed large chunks of the previous campaign, plus forced him off early in the European final.

But 2021/22 brought a new chapter for the man who turns 38 in four months.

Only Antonio Rudiger, Mason Mount and Edouard Mendy have made more appearances this term than Silva (45).

Even when Chelsea have been performing badly, the veteran warrior always seems to pull out a sterling performance.

James loves playing alongside Silva

“Everyone can see what he brings whenever he sets foot on the pitch,” said James glowingly.

“He is quality. He’s a good professional and a good person, he wouldn’t be playing at 37 years old at the highest level if he wasn’t.

“He’s a great person, a great leader, and a great footballer.

“It helps a lot, and his experience helps a lot. He’s been around in the game a long time and has played many good games – and probably many bad games as well. And that all helps.”

James and others have evidently benefitted from having Silva around the camp.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The England international has arguably enjoyed his finest individual season to date, even though it’s been disrupted by injury.

Trevoh Chalobah is another clearly taking notes from his senior co-worker.

Like James, the Cobham academy graduate probably hasn’t ever experienced a campaign quite like the one he’s living through now.

Making your debut in the UEFA Super Cup final, scoring on your Premier League debut, lifting the Club World Cup; it’s a special story.

Whilst Chalobah and James are still only really starting out their journey, time will soon be up for Silva, but what a ride it’s been.

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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.