After the international break, Chelsea’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, can find solace in the fact that Thiago Silva has been training at Cobham for the past two weeks.
Unlike his fellow South American teammates who might be fatigued, the 39-year-old defender will be fully rested for the 5.30pm kick-off against Arsenal on Saturday.
Chelsea has faced challenges this season in compensating for the fatigue and injuries suffered by players like Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo after their long journeys back from international matches.
However, for the second consecutive time, Pochettino can rely on Silva without much concern.
Being the oldest outfield player in the league and enduring high demands from his club, Silva requires special attention.
He is one of only three players to have played every minute of every game so far and is expected to play a central role in the defense when they face Arsenal in two days’ time.
Silva, however, did not deliberately choose this brief respite. He clarified, “I didn’t make any decision. Let’s be clear about that. I didn’t decide not to join the national team,” he told ESPN Brazil.
Despite his 113 caps for his country, Silva now finds himself excluded from the national squad.
Since the last World Cup, in which he played a significant role under Tite’s management, Silva has found himself excluded from every squad.
The interim manager, Fernando Diniz, has opted not to rely on the experience and seasoned legs of Silva. Instead, players like Eder Militao, Gabriel Magalhaes, Marquinhos, and Gleison Bremer have been chosen, depending on their fitness.
Silva responded, saying, “It’s not my decision. I’m always ready when the CBF calls. It’s understood that when you receive the call, you go.”
“But so far, I haven’t received any calls for these recent opportunities. If they believe I can contribute to this process, I will certainly give my best to assist.”
“But as long as that doesn’t happen, I’ll try to do my job in the best way possible here at Chelsea, playing in one of the most important leagues in the world and continuing this beautiful job I’ve been doing with Chelsea.”
“Unfortunately, last year wasn’t so good, but I hope this year will be different.”
Despite his crucial role on the pitch for Chelsea, uncertainty looms over how Pochettino will organize his defense against Mikel Arteta’s team, particularly around Silva.
Reece James is a potential contender to return after his lengthy injury spell, and Malo Gusto is back from suspension.
Levi Colwill could continue at left-back, although many had anticipated more appearances from the Silva-Colwill pairing early in the season.
Axel Disasi is likely to be his primary partner at right center-back, but the right-back position remains uncertain.
Nevertheless, Silva remains prepared to fulfill his role, regardless of his defensive partners.
Despite the frustration stemming from his non-selection by Brazil, it’s evident that Chelsea and Pochettino stand to benefit significantly, with Silva’s energy preserved for their advantage.
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