Thiago Silva was recently lauded by Jamie Carragher following Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final as ‘truly world class’ and it’s not difficult to see why.
While Virgil van Dijk was the subject of most of the praise that afternoon, Carragher was keen to reserve a special mention for the Brazilian, whose outstanding form for the Blues has been significant in a season where Thomas Tuchel’s side look comfortable in third place and still have two other trophies to fight for.
Given he is now 37, it makes his effortless defensive work all the more impressive and while Chelsea have tended to favour a younger profile of player, Silva should act as an example to those behind the scenes at the club why the occasional sprinkle of experience is no bad thing.
His interview at the back end of last year on how he has continued to improve as he has grown older felt pertinent at a time where Robert Lewandowski was plundering a first-half hat-trick for Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The 33-year-old, who was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window, netted his treble inside the opening 23 minutes as Bayern sailed past RB Salzburg into the quarter-final.
Lewandowski cemented his status as the leading elite European marksmen as Julian Nagelsmann’s side strutted away 7-1 victors (8-2 on aggregate) and his latest goalscoring exploits may leave the Blues ruing their decision to not explore the possibility of a deal. The presence of Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea complicates any move for a striker of Lewandowski’s calibre but the opportunity was rumoured to be there for the club in January.
Chelsea’s transfer chief Marina Granovskaia, whose future at the club is now uncertain amid Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell up, was reportedly offered the chance to sign the veteran striker in the winter transfer window, as per football consultant Ian McGarry.
The report claims that Lewandowski’s agent Pini Zahavi was keen to utilise his close contacts at Thomas Tuchel’s side to see if a deal would be viable.
McGarry added that Timo Werner could have headed in the other direction.
He told the Transfer Window Podcast: “Pini Zahavi, often described as the original super-agent, represents Lewandowski and has done for more than two years.
“Zahavi is also a close-confidant of Granovskaia and it is certainly the case that he has offered Lewandowski to Chelsea and Granovskaia.
“It’s a move which could include Werner going to Bayern.”
A deal, obviously, failed to materialise and Lewandowski, who sees his current contract with the Bundesliga champions expire in the summer of 2023, has scored 12 goals in 10 appearances since the turn of the New Year.
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Werner, on the other hand, is yet to score against any Premier League opposition this year at a time when Tuchel is wrestling with trying to find the perfect attacking formula for his side.
The 37-year-old Brazil international, who fans have voted to succeed Cesar Apzilicueta as Chelsea captain, explained how his age has improved his game.
“Of course, today I don’t have the same explosion that I had at Fluminense, but there are things I didn’t have at the beginning and today I have a lot, which is the experience,” he said.
“You cut a lot of paths, you can read a lot of things before they happen. Back then I ran, but I didn’t think.
“Today I run less and think more, you know? I’m 37 years old, playing in one of the top leagues in the world, in one of the biggest clubs, at a high level.”
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