Last season’s Youth Revolution™ was complemented this summer by Chelsea making big investments in supreme young talents like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, all under 25 and with the footballing world at their feet.
But Chelsea also signed a few older players in key positions, including at goalkeeper in Édouard Mendy, at attacking midfield in Hakim Ziyech, and at center back in Thiago Silva. Silva is in fact nearly a decade older than even those other two “older” signings. But that also means that “O Monstro” has had even more to give the team than just his talents on the pitch.
Here’s young Reece James explaining what it’s like playing with a living legend of the modern game.
“Thiago has brought a lot of experience. I have played alongside him a few times now. He has helped me a lot.
“You can see straight away why he has been one of the best in the world. He constantly talks to me throughout games, helping me in my positioning, directing me and making sure he is talking to me before, during and after games. It all adds up and improves performances.”
Just as Silva has helped solidify the defense, Chelsea’s attack has gotten a massive boost from Hakim Ziyech’s return to fitness. The “Wizard of AMS” has been generally deployed on the right wing, ahead of young Reece, and the two have developed quick chemistry already.
“Further forward, there have been signs with Hakim in training. Ever since he arrived, we got on well. I knew I would be playing behind him.
“We clicked early and tried to build this connection in training to use this season. His left foot is just unbelievably good.”
-Reece James; source: The Athletic
And we’re just getting started!