Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has heaped praise on Thiago Silva ahead of the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tie against Atletico Madrid.
Silva joined the Blues on a free transfer after the expiry of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain last summer, and he has since made 21 appearances in all competitions.
He is out on the sidelines with a recurrence of a muscle injury but has made a solid impression among his teammates in a short while.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game, Rudiger was asked about Silva’s influence, and he described the 36-year-old as a ‘world-class defender’.
The 28-year-old added that age is only a number for the Brazil international and said that he has a boss-like presence around the club.
He told football.london: “For me, a world-class defender – showed it at every club he has been at the top.”
“Especially when it comes to his age, he shows it is just a number. There is a lot we can learn from him, he has a boss-like presence, the way he talks, the way he trains.”
Silva has been absent from the playing field for nearly six weeks with a hamstring issue. He returned to the matchday squad against Everton but suffered a recurrence soon after.
The Blues have handled his absence without much of a fuss, with Andreas Christensen impressing in the middle of a three-man backline.
The west London giants have one more game following the Atletico Madrid clash (FA Cup quarter-final vs Sheffield United) before the international break.
Tuchel has hinted that Silva may only return to action after that. Tammy Abraham is another player who is out until April with an ankle problem.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com