Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole has stated that he believes that Thiago Silva is the best defender in the Premier League, behind Virgil Van Dijk.

Silva, 36, made the switch to Stamford Bridge from PSG as a free agent during the last transfer window and has impressed since his arrival.

The Brazilian played an influential role in Chelsea’s 2-1 Champions League win over Rennes on Tuesday evening as Chelsea qualified for the knockout stages.

Post-game, while working as an analyst for BT Sport (via the Evening Standard), Cole praised the veteran for showing his ability to adapt to English football.

“He has been one of the great defenders of our generation, but at 36 you worry,” he said.

“Traditionally players at that age coming into the Premier League, it is very difficult. The Premier League is a different beast now.

“He was not fit at the start of the season and Frank did not want to throw him in.

“He needed time to get into it and now he looks like a Rolls Royce and one of the best centre-halves in the league.

 

 

“I do not think they make centre-halves like him anymore. Apart from Van Dijk, I would say he is the best in the league.

“He has brought so much quality, on the pitch and off the pitch.”


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Silva setting the standard

Thiago Silva

Cole added that Silva has brought a level of quality that fellow Chelsea defenders should be aspiring towards.

He continued: “For [Antonio] Rudiger, [Kurt] Zouma and [Andreas] Christensen next to him, he is a standard bearer. That is the level you want to get at if you want to class yourself as a world-class centre-half.”

The seven-time Ligue 1 champion has played nine games across all competitions for the Blues since his transfer, scoring once.

Indeed, he has helped his new club keep six clean sheets already this season.

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Source: Football – TeamTalk