Thiago Silva will be key to any Champions League run at Chelsea, Lampard says

The Blues defender has already taken a key leadership role in the squad and his coach will depend on him in the final stages in Europe.

Frank Lampard acknowledges that Thiago Silva must play a key leading role in Chelsea’s Champions League run after seeing his side pull Atletico Madrid into the 16th.

Silva arrived from PSG on a free transfer in August after heading out of his former side’s 1-0 Champions League final defeat against Bayern Munich.

Now the 36-year-old wears the captain’s armband for Lampard’s side, with regular captain Cesar Azpilicueta increasingly finding himself on the bench.

Being one of the few experienced players signed by Chelsea in recent times, Lampard admits he will lean on his Brazilian international to lead the group through any possible competition.

“He will be very important and he is not the only one,” Lampard told reporters ahead of a trip to Wolves on Tuesday. “Other players have Champions League experience in what is undoubtedly the main club competition in world football.

“It requires concentration and focus as well as talent levels, because it’s so intense. Players who were there and did it – Thiago was the captain in a final not long ago – will be able to deliver experience and be very aware of those levels for two parts against a team as well. experienced as Atletico. “

The draw with Atleti has been described as the most difficult possible by Lampard, as they occupy second place in The League with two games in their hands over Real Society players.

Chelsea faced Diego Simeone’s outfit on the group stage in 2017 and was knocked out of his side in the semi-finals in 2014. Having fought so hard to qualify for the competition last season, Lampard is excited against one of the most respected managers.

“I like a team that is the image of their manager and I think he has certainly proven that over the years he has been there with the discipline of the team as they are very strong with their game plan,” he added.

“When you look at them, you understand the way they play. You could watch them on TV, turn off the color and you would still understand that Atletico Madrid is playing. They are very confident in their way of playing.

“They also have quality players around that and the manager has been pushing that club for many years, so they are a very confident and experienced European outfit.”

Chelsea’s appearance in the final stages of the Champions League comes in a season when a summer expenditure of £ 220 million ($ 275 million) for new signings has seen the club grow.

A recent defeat against Everton ended a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but Lampard’s side were overturned to compete for honors across the board.

Meanwhile Lampard himself has continued to downplay the chances on his side, especially in the Premier League, but he acknowledges that the overall points to win the title are likely to be lower this season.

“Right there we are in this season, you saw the results,” he said. “We felt it with our own eyes over the weekend at Everton. They have good players; they have invested in the squad, are well organized and have made it difficult for us.

“Watching the games yesterday, you saw that everywhere. The bond is becoming tighter for whatever reason. Teams are getting stronger, they are well organized. I felt that our preparations before the season were a little different, so we see ourselves as a bit progressing.

“We feel like we’ve already lost some points we might not have. Everyone will feel that in their own mind and I think the level of points will be less. I think we need to try to make sure we maintain our levels to continue to improve. “