Thiago Silva snubbed for Chelsea captaincy 'for many reasons' - Pochettino

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 20 Aug 2023 09:25 BST
  • 3 min read
Thiago Silva has experienced a frustrating season at Chelsea
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Thiago Silva was among the betting favourites to be made Chelsea captain under Mauricio Pochettino, but the new manager chose Reece James instead.

The Chelsea armband was due to pass on with Cesar Azpilicueta negotiating his move away from the club - something he managed at the start of July with his free transfer to Atletico Madrid.

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Silva, the long-time Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil captained, had previously led the Blues out in the Spaniard's absence, and at 38 but still playing at an elite level, he seemed like an obvious choice to some.

READ: Thiago Silva: My kids to blame for me staying at Chelsea

But Pochettino had other ideas, handing the duty to academy graduate James, who has blossomed into one of the best right-backs in the world when not waylaid by injury.

"For many different reasons, I'm looking not only in the present but for the future," Pochettino explained of his decision not to choose Silva.

Poch: 'a good situation'

"It was a good situation because Reece is ready to be captain. When the player is clever like Thiago, who is 38 and nearly 39, do you think he is thinking about needing the armband? He is a captain as well like Reece and [Ben] Chilwell.

READ: How Chelsea will line up with Romeo Lavia

Silva played all 90 minutes of Chelsea's Premier League opener against Liverpool last Sunday - a 1-1 draw in which Axel Disasi scored to cancel out Luis Diaz's opener.

Disasi was recently signed from Monaco for €45 million, while Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile were acquired to a combined €118.4m last summer. Allied to Levi Colwill's return from his loan to Brighton, competition for places is fierce.

"I told him 'Look, Thiago I am not sure you are always going to play. You need to [fight], like any player who deserves to play,'" Pochettino continued. "He was really, really humble and is a fantastic footballer in his career.

"A good thing happened, it surprised me and I think we created a good and respectful relationship."

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