Thiago Silva will add some much-needed experience and leadership to a young Chelsea team, manager Frank Lampard believes.
The Brazilian centre back, who turns 36 next month, joined the Blues on a free transfer this week after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expired after their Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich.
The ex-AC Milan star signed a one-year deal with an option for a second season and Lampard expects him to be a valuable addition to the squad.
‘With Thiago Silva, we are looking at a player I know very well, pretty much as we all do,’ he told the club’s website.
‘He brings great experience for us, he is still playing at a massively high level, as we saw in the Champions League final and games towards the final, so I expect him to come and bring that, bring his experience, leadership and his qualities. It is going to be very important for us.
‘We have a relatively young squad, we saw that last year, there were games afterwards when I was probably asking for more voice and some more leadership in different ways and he brings that naturally straightaway, and also on the pitch he can help talk and be the player that he is which means affecting others. On those levels I hope he brings that.
‘I am pretty sure he will with the qualities we know he has, so I am excited for when he joins up.’
The Blues coach went head to head with his new signing during his playing days and was recently reminded about the time they both captained their countries in a 2-2 draw in an international friendly seven years ago.
‘I got sent that picture the other day, of us shaking hands at the kick-off. Unfortunately, I am a bit older now and memories of all these games are not crystal clear!’ Lampard added.
‘But I do have memories, it was a special game, I think it was the reopening of the Maracana.
‘It was a very difficult game and I remember Thiago Silva and Neymar and all those players. It was a tough game, we got a good result there.
‘It was a pleasure to play up against him because when a player has had the career he has had and achieved what he has achieved, it is not by luck, it is not by anything other than hard work and pure talent and hopefully he is bringing that to the club.
‘Now we are in slightly different roles, I am doing my job here and he is coming in to help on the pitch, and let’s hope it works.’
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