Tuchel discovers unlikely Thiago Silva successor within Chelsea squad

James Shearman Updated: 17 Jul 2022 11:57 BST 3 min read
Thiago Silva for Chelsea, 2021/22

Thomas Tuchel may have discovered the successor to 37-year-old Thiago Silva within the current Chelsea squad.

The Blues came out 2-1 victors over Club America in the first of their preseason friendlies on Wednesday, though it was the performance of one particular individual that caught the eye.

Thiago Silva started the match at the heart of the Chelsea defence, and was replaced by 21-year-old academy product Ethan Ampadu for the second half.

And, Ampadu impressed greatly in the role, using past experience of playing in midfield to his advantage by displaying his passing ability in a deeper position.

''Ethan did very well in a good position for him in the middle of a back three,'' Tuchel said.

''He plays a lot of vertical passes, he did not play from left to right but only penetrated through the lines of the opponent with his passes and sometimes with his dribbling.

''He was very active and it was good match from him – he also is training very well.''

Tuchel's defensive options

Chelsea's backline took a hit this summer with the losses of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively.

However, the addition of Kalidou Koulibaly in a €40 million deal from Napoli has gone some way to strengthen the area.

The Blues are also expected to complete the signing of Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpmbe, who has previous experience of working with Thomas Tuchel.

The likes of Nathan Ake, Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt have been linked, too, but the emergence of Ethan Ampadu as an option means that is not necessary.

So, assuming Kimpembe is brought in, Tuchel should have he and Levi Colwill on the left of the back three.

Ampadu would understudy Thiago Silva in the most central role, with a view to potentially taking over from the Brazilian in the 2023-24 season.

And, on the right, academy graduate Trevoh Chalobah is the obvious backup to new signing Koulibaly.

This would leave no place in the squad for Malang Sarr, who often looked out of place in a Chelsea shirt in the last campaign.

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