It’s a throwback summer at Chelsea to the landscape-shifting days of 2003-06, so perhaps it’s only appropriate that Pini Zahavi’s name has turned up. The superagent who was instrumental in those early years of the Roman Abramovich Era in the SW6, had his focus elsewhere in the European scene more recently, but he turned the clock back as by engineering the arrival of Thiago Silva — who hopefully will do the same and give us the high quality performances that made him famous even in the waning years of his legendary career.
According to a rather PR-riffic report from the Telegraph from a couple days ago, it was Zahavi who brought in the offer from Chelsea, which made Silva “immediately” drop any notion of returning to Italy (AC Milan or Fiorentina) and want to choose the Premier League instead. Wise man.
That decision was then apparently reinforced by the enthusiastic approval of Neymar, who’s also represented by Zahavi (including at the time of Neymar’s world record €222m transfer to PSG). Neymar was linked with Chelsea back in the day before choosing to join Barcelona from Santos, but reportedly encouraged Silva to try for the “challenge” of the Premier League instead.
Silva then apparently also called a certain Willian, who supposedly joked that had he known that Silva was coming, he would’ve stayed instead of choosing more money and more years at Arsenal. I’m sure David Luiz would’ve understood.
How Chelsea signed Thiago Silva:— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) September 7, 2020
- Seeking advice from Neymar and Willian
- The role played by Pini Zahavi
- Conversations with Frank Lampard
- Desire to play in the Premier League & at World Cup https://t.co/v510HZeewS
There’s also a fair bit of aggrandizing about the Chelsea side of the situation — oh, we’re so good and in-sync on this, too! — with a semi-interesting claim about how Lampard sees Silva almost as a player-coach, which in a way is to be expected given the 35-year-old’s wealth of experience and leadership qualities. Silva’s said to be learning English “intensively” though it’s unclear when he might have had the time to start doing that.
We can only hope that this deal works out as well as everyone’s intending. Silva certainly seems genuinely excited to start this chapter fresh off his brief holidays in Italy — and so is his wife, judging by her Instagram stories! — so that’s a good first step.