Paul Scholes has praised Thiago Silva for adding solidity to Chelsea’s defence but says Frank Lampard will have to be cautious with the veteran centre-half and manage him ‘carefully’ across the campaign.
Eyebrows were raised when Chelsea reached an agreement for Silva towards the end of the summer transfer window after his contract expired at PSG but the 36-year-old has been a revelation at the heart of Lampard’s defence.
Chelsea chiefs have been so impressed that the club are preparing to offer Silva a one-year extension to see the Brazil international through to the end of the 2021/22 season.
However, legendary ex-United midfielder Scholes suggests Lampard should be using Silva sparingly in order to preserve the centre-half for the side’s most ‘important’ matches both domestically and in Europe.
‘Thiago Silva coming in at 36 years of age,’ Scholes told Amazon Prime Video ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Wolves at Molineux.
‘He’s going to have to manage him carefully to get him through games. He’s going to want him to play in all the important games. Can he do that for the full season?
‘There’s no doubting he’s brought a solidness back to Chelsea along with the keeper.
‘And in the forward positions. Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham, can they get the combination right up there?’
Scholes hailed the ‘excellent’ job Lampard has done since taking charge of Chelsea but played down the club’s title chances, with Liverpool and Manchester City his favourites to win the Premier League.
‘I’m not sure to be honest,’ he said when asked about Chelsea’s title hopes.
‘They’re a really good team. What Frank has done has been excellent over the last season and this season.
‘They’re the teams to beat. I still think he has a couple of issues.’