Even at the age of 38, Thiago Silva remains as important as ever for Chelsea, but the Brazilian cannot last forever and Graham Potter will soon have to consider who can replace the former PSG man at the back for the Blues.
A number of young defenders have been recruited in recent seasons, with Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile both likely to be regulars at the back for the remainder of the campaign, with the former recovering from his long-term injury to reclaim his place in the squad in recent weeks.
However, Potter’s best potential replacement for Silva may come straight from the academy, as Levi Colwill is showing his quality once again out on loan, starring with Roberto De Zerbi’s Brighton side.
Could Levi Colwill replace Silva at Chelsea?
Last season saw the teenage defender spend the season on loan with Huddersfield Town in the Championship, where he was a regular in the Terriers’ side as they exceeded expectations, losing out to Nottingham Forest in the playoff final.
The Englishman would make 31 appearances in the second tier, scoring two goals and providing one assist, earning an impressive 6.97 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Former Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan sang his praises during the campaign, saying:
“I think he’s going to be one of the most important centre-backs for this country in the future.
“I am seeing a player with a lot of potential and a lot of personality.”
Despite his performances in the second tier, Chelsea saw fit to loan him out again in the summer, to a side that now looks to have a far better chance of earning European football next season.
While Colwill’s best performances for the Seagulls have come in the League Cup, where he has averaged a superb 7.29 rating from WhoScored, he has also featured seven times in the Premier League.
The Athletic’s Simon Johnson has previously described Colwill as a “rising talent,” comparing him to Chelsea legend John Terry, but the Blues need to make sure that he doesn’t become another promising youngster to leave the club and showcase his abilities elsewhere.
FBref ranks Colwill in the top 15% of centre-backs in Europe’s top leagues for passes attempted, progressive carries and aerials won, which suggests that he certainly possesses the attributes to excel as a modern, ball-playing defender.
Therefore, when Silva leaves Chelsea or eventually retires, Potter should consider promoting the teenager as his replacement.
- Sensational £20k-p/w Leeds “Rocket” Could Be Raphinha 2.0Leeds United must ensure Wilfried Gnonto does not leave this summer, with clubs like Juventus interested in a transfer.
- Chelsea Could Sign Own Haaland With £97m "Animal"Chelsea are interested in signing Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic this summer and the Serbian could be Graham Potter's own version of Erling Haaland.
- Liverpool Could Forget Bellingham With £44m-rated "World-beater"The Dutch machine would be a monster at LFC
- Cody Gakpo withdraws from Netherlands squad with viral infectionCody Gakpo withdraws from Netherlands squad with viral infection.
- Why Moises Caicedo did not join Arsenal or Chelsea in JanuaryBrighton's CEO Paul Barber explains why the club stopped Moises Caicedo from joining Arsenal or Chelsea in the January transfer window.
- Leah Williamson rates England's chances of winning 2023 Women's World CupLeah Williamson expresses 'confidence' within the England squad ahead of 2023 Women's World Cup.