Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has explained his decision to leave Thiago Silva out of the Chelsea side he selected for the 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.
The Brazilian international has been in outstanding form since his move to Stamford Bridge from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, playing a pivotal role in Chelsea’s defensive improvement.
According to Lampard, it was a smart decision to rest Silva for the game against Newcastle United as he only arrived back in London on Thursday afternoon after representing Brazil during the international break.
Lampard said: “He travelled back from South America, it was a long journey and he arrived back on Thursday afternoon.
“I think it was a smart thing. We’ve got players, we’ve got a squad, Toni Rudiger comes in. We’ve got centre-backs and we want players to come in and keep the same levels.
“Thiago has set a fantastic standard, we’ve got the age situation we have to look after him here and there so he drops out.”
Silva’s absence meant Antonio Rudiger started his first Premier League game of the season for the Blues.
Meanwhile, talkSPORT recently named Silva as the best signing of the season.
TalkSPORT wrote: “Chelsea spent more than £250million ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, but it’s the free signing of a 36-year-old which has changed their team.
“The likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy, and Hakim Ziyech in particular, have all impressed – but none have had the same transformational effect as Silva.
“Like when Virgil van Dijk arrived at Liverpool in January 2018, the Brazil veteran has fixed Chelsea’s leaky defence overnight and talkSPORT’s Adrian Durham even claimed he can be the Blues’ version of Van Dijk.
“After getting that horrible moment against West Brom out of his system, the defender hasn’t put a foot wrong.
“Not since John Terry have Chelsea fans since a player so in control of what they’re doing, and everything Silva does just oozes quality.
“The Blues have a certain authority they’ve lacked for a long time with Silva in the team – and his calming influence appears to have rubbed off on everyone around him.”