Chelsea eyeing £69m swoop for “phenomenal” Thiago Silva heir

    In football, waving goodbye to a player, manager or owner can often be the hardest thing to deal with in the sport – like in every walk of life – and that is an experience Chelsea have become all too familiar with in recent times.

    In the Blues instance, heartache has stemmed from watching club legends depart the club, namely Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard, without replacing them.

    Next summer, the west London outfit will have to prepare for the possibility of Thiago Silva leaving Stamford Bridge with the 39-year-old’s contract expiring in June 2024.

    Whilst the Brazilian isn’t in the same bracket as the likes of Lampard and Hazard, the void he’ll leave in the heart of Chelsea’s defence will be colossal, and the Blues reportedly have his replacement lined up.

    Chelsea transfer news – Ousmane Diomande

    As per reports in Portugal last month, Chelsea want to sign Sporting CP’s star centre-back Ousmane Diomande but face stiff competition from divisional rivals, Newcastle United.

    After signing from FC Midtjylland in January 2023, Diomande shot onto the scene as a promising ball-playing centre-back last term, featuring on 13 occasions in the Primeira Liga, sparking interest from Arsenal in the summer.


    Now a regular fixture in the starting XI for the Portuguese giants, the 19-year-old has an ever-growing list of admirers having transformed into one of the most talented defenders in Europe.

    Despite acquiring a long list of central defenders since Todd Boehly took over, including Axel Disasi, Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile, Chelsea see the Ivorian as a potential heir to Silva’s throne.

    With a release clause of £69m (€80m), as per Sporting CP’s website, the battle to land Diomande looks set to be a highly contested one and it is imperative that Mauricio Pochettino’s side come out on top.

    Ousmane Diomande’s style of play

    Diomande has every ingredient in his locker to become the complete centre-back in years to come with his main strengths being his physicality, vision and speed.

    In a possession-heavy Sporting side, the Ivorian has to be comfortable on the ball, receiving it from his keeper before splitting the midfield with his astute and assured passing range.


    According to talent scout Jacek Kulig, the teenager shares a lot of similarities with Tottenham Hotspurs Christian Romero, given they are both comfortable in possession, are quick enough to cover ground when needed while they are also rash and can commit unnecessary fouls which can put their team under pressure.

    In Chelsea’s current side, Pochettino deploys a system that requires the defence to be comfortable at driving out with the ball and although this is an attribute that Silva has excelled at throughout his career, Diomande’s ball-playing abilities in the past year have eclipsed the Brazilians across most metrics.

    Ousmane Diomande vs Thiago Silva’s possession stats per 90


    Ousmane Diomande

    Thiago Silva

    Pass completion



    Progressive passes



    Progressive carries



    Successful take-ons



    Key passes



    Pass completion (Long)



    All stats via FBref

    Although Silva is statistically better with his short and long passing accuracy, as delineated by the table above, Diomande makes more positive actions in possession, demonstrating the power and strength in his ball-carrying that can fit seamlessly alongside Colwill at Stamford Bridge.

    Silva, who turns 40 next year, is one of the greatest defenders of this generation and when he does depart, he’ll leave a huge void that needs filling, but the “phenomenal” Diomande – as lauded by journalist Antonio Mango – has proven he is more than capable of doing so.

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