Gary Neville gives verdict on Chelsea FC signing Thiago Silva
Gary Neville questions Chelsea FC's signing of Thiago Silva in the summer transfer window
Gary Neville has questioned Chelsea FC’s decision to sign Thiago Silva on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
The Blues won the race to sign the experienced Brazil international on a free transfer from the Champions League runners up this summer after Silva’s eight-year stay at PSG.
The 35-year-old will add a lot of experience to the Chelsea FC dressing room given that Silva won seven Ligue 1 titles during his eight seasons at the Parc des Princes.
However, the Brazil centre-half is in the twilight of his career, having enjoyed decorated spells at AC Milan and PSG at the height of his defensive powers.
Chelsea FC conceded more goals than any other Premier League team in the top 10 last season to highlight an area of weakness under Frank Lampard.
But Sky Sports pundit Neville is unsure whether Thiago will be able to improve the Blues defence given his age and his recent experience in Ligue 1.
“Again, it’s an unknown. 35 [years old], 36 next week, played in the French league now for a number of years,” Neville said of Silva on Monday Night Football.
“The intensity in the French league is nothing like our league. That’s not to say Paris Saint-Germain are not a great team, they just got to the Champions League final, but you’re talking about the Premier League. ‘Particularly the intensity of this Premier League season, it’s compact.
“It’ll be a massive challenge for him in terms of the amount of games, the speed of football compared to what he’s been used to. It’ll be a step up in that respect.
“Can he play in matches, can he play at this level? Of course he can, he’s a world-class player.
“But at this stage in his career… again when you ask if Chelsea can win the league, it’s just a complete unknown. Will he adapt?”
Thiago started his career in Europe with AC Milan, where he won the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia before his move to PSG in 2012.
The Brazilian scored 17 times in 315 games in all competitions for the French club during his eight years at PSG.
Chelsea FC were 3-1 winners against Brighton in their Premier League opener on Monday night thanks to goals from Jorginho, Reece James and Kurt Zouma.
Lampard’s side will take on defending champions Liverpool FC in their next Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.