English Premiership

Joe Cole: 'Thiago Silva has been impeccable'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva looks on during the League Cup third round match against Barnsley at Stamford Bridge on 23 September 2020.
Chelsea’s Thiago Silva looks on during the League Cup third round match against Barnsley at Stamford Bridge on 23 September 2020.
Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images

Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole says it was a mistake to be "worried" when Chelsea signed Thiago Silva this season.

The 36-year-old joined Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer and there was concern – not just from Cole – that he would struggle to meet the demands of the Premier League.

But he has played a huge part in turning Chelsea's defence around this season, drawing praise from all quarters.

And Cole admits he's changed his mind about the Brazilian, who he claims is second only to Virgil van Dijk in terms of Premier League centre-backs.

"Unbelievable. Out of all the signings, when he came in, I knew he's been one of the great defenders of our generation, but at 36 – you worry," Cole said on BT Sport. "Traditionally, players of that age coming into the Premier League, it's very difficult.

"The Premier League is a different beast now.

"I don't think they make centre-halves like him now, apart from van Dijk, he's the best in the league, maybe there's an argument for it.

"For Rudiger, Zouma, or Christensen next to him, he sets the standards.

"That's the level you want to get at if you want to class yourself as a world-class centre-half."

Fellow BT Sport pundit Peter Crouch shared Cole’s sentiments.

"At the age of 36, a lot of the time, you go to Serie A or La Liga, which is perhaps slightly easier for that age," Crouch said.

"I thought when he gave the ball away in his first game, I did worry, but since then he's been impeccable."

- TEAMtalk media

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Fixtures
Sat 27 Feb 21 14:30 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
West Ham United
Etihad Stadium
Sat 27 Feb 21 17:00 PM (SAST)
West Bromwich Albion
Brighton & Hove Albion
The Hawthorns
Sat 27 Feb 21 19:30 PM (SAST)
Leeds United
Aston Villa
Elland Road
Results
Tue 23 Feb 21
Leeds United 3
Southampton 0
Mon 22 Feb 21
Brighton & Hove Albion 1
Crystal Palace 2
Sun 21 Feb 21
Manchester United 3
Newcastle United 1
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Manchester City
25
18
59
2. Manchester United
25
14
49
3. Leicester City
25
15
49
4. West Ham United
25
13
45