Chelsea boss Frank Lampard sends Virgil van Dijk message to Thiago Silva

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard hopes Thiago Silva can have a similar impact to that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool. Experienced Brazil international Silva has been brought in to stabilise a leaky Chelsea defence. It was a similar scenario at Liverpool when they signed Van Dijk from Southampton in January 2018.

Liverpool lost in the Champions League final that season but 12 months later Van Dijk led them to glory over Tottenham in the final in Madrid.

The Dutchman was also an ever-present last term when Jurgen Klopp finally ended the Reds’ 30-year wait for a top-flight title.

Silva has arrived at Chelsea with plenty of success already behind him and Lampard puts him in the same bracket as Van Dijk and Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany.

And Lampard hopes Silva can have a similar level of success to that duo during his time in England.

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Lampard said: “I think with the career he’s had, he certainly is in the bracket of top centre backs like [Kompany and Van Dijk].

“Most recent modern day teams that have achieved have individuals or pairings defensively, that set those kinds of standards.

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“I think it’s imperative we know the importance of defending well to try and win trophies, particularly the Premier League title.

“They do also need support around them, behind them, around them in front of them. But when you look at the performances of Thiago in his early few games with the impact I keep talking about him having he can be a big deal for us.

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“We still need a lot more though. I don’t want to crown him as that now.”

Silva was available on a free in the summer following the expiry of his contract.

And Lampard has praised the club’s hierarchy for getting a deal over the line as quick as they did.

He added: “When Thiago became available, it was something that really excited me. And it was something that the club moved very swiftly on.

“It felt good work at the time. And now Thiago is showing it with his performances on the pitch.

“When I talk about the owner of the club, I also talk about Marina [Granovskaia] and I talk about Petr Cech in terms of the support I’ve had.

“We’ve had a good run up at this. People think that we made a lot of business in five minutes. In the first year of my career as a manager here we couldn’t bring players in.

“So we had a long term view of looking at last year, where we felt we could strengthen and it was very joined up.

“I certainly had an input I was very happy with, in terms of the type of players that we brought into the squad.

“We worked and I think a lot of people should take credit in terms of what we brought in. Now we’ve seen some great signs recently where players are starting to bed in and be fit.”

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