Sunday, October 2, 2022

What Chelsea’s First-Choice Centre-Half Pairing Would Be If Current Form Was Taken Out Of Equation

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

Going into what was arguably an unprecedented summer transfer window, there were very few clubs across Europe who had the power to strengthen their teams at will. The likes of Arsenal and Manchester United tried to depend on player sales to make their moves and looking back at the business they did in the end, the policy being taken by their respective boards of directors must be put under scrutiny. One of the few teams across the continent who were able to spend freely were Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea side.

Although some will argue that Chelsea have been trying to ‘buy the league’, it’s worth noting that the Blues posted a profit of over £120m from transfers in the last year. While that was mostly down to the fact that they had a forced transfer ban to deal with, it has seemingly all worked out in the end.

The likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner were being watched by some of the biggest teams in the continent, but the availability of funds gave the Blues an upper hand. While these attacking players are likely to come good in the long run, one signing is sure to come as a huge boost to Lampard’s ambitions – Brazilian veteran Thiago Silva.

The former PSG man was brought in by the Stamford Bridge club on a year-long deal after his contract with the Parisian club came to an end. Although he has already made an error since making the move, that can be put down to his lack of experience in this division. Apart from that, it must be conceded that Silva, over the last many years, has been one of the most celebrated defenders in the world, and class like that doesn’t just go away. With Silva now added to the mix as well, we will be looking to choose Chelsea’s best centre-half pairing without considering form.

Chelsea’s Best Centre-Half Pairing Without Considering Form - Rudiger in action
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea on the ball during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on July 14, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What Are The Blues’ Options At The Back?

As already discussed, the introduction of Thiago Silva to the mix has made Lampard’s job of choosing just two of them a much harder one. The London club have five distinct options to choose from in the role, but there has been a pattern in the gaffer’s selections. Silva, alongside Frenchman Kurt Zouma, has seemingly been the Blues’ first-choice pairing so far, with Fikayo Tomori acting as the backup option. This leaves Andreas Christensen as the fourth-choice in the side, with German international Antonio Rudiger seemingly at the bottom of the Blues’ pecking order.

Here Is Chelsea’s Best Centre-Half Pairing Without Considering Form:

Thiago Silva

Although 36 isn’t probably the best age to make your debut in the most demanding league in the world, take nothing away from the experience and quality that a world-class defender like Silva can bring to the table. Not only has he been around the top of the game for the longest time, but he is renowned for being one of the most dominant and vocal leaders in European football. His sheer dominance, be it in the air or on the ground, is sure to be of vital importance to Chelsea over the course of what promises to be a long season.

Antonio Rudiger

This is a call that would probably shock a large chunk of the Blues’ fanbase, but one bad season doesn’t make anyone a bad defender. It’s worth remembering that Virgil Van Dijk himself had a couple of poor seasons at Southampton, with the Dutchman now being branded ‘the best in the world’ by many across the globe. Rudiger, for two years prior to the last one, was Chelsea’s best defender by a large distance and forgetting that could prove to be costly. None of the other options offer as secure a presence as Rudiger on his day, and given the fact that he is important to the club, the German is sure to come back strong.

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