sport news Chelsea spent £253m but their best summer signings are proving to be Thiago ...

Many thought Chelsea would be full of attacking quality after their £253million summer spree. But after two clean sheets in a row, it's their defensive additions making all the difference. 

Frank Lampard's Blues managed to shut out Sevilla and last week in consecutive games before keeping another clean sheet at Krasnodar in midweek to stop the rot of conceding careless goals since the start of the season. 

This defensive solidity has come as a great surprise to several observers and Chelsea supporters, who had seen their side spend £253million in the summer transfer market on predominantly attacking stars such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech. 

Thiago Silva has been a rock at the back for Chelsea since his free transfer move from Paris Saint-Germain

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is also performing well in his opening games for the Blues

Thiago Silva (left) and Edouard Mendy (right) are making a difference for new club Chelsea

Blues boss Frank Lampard (above) has seen his side keep three clean sheets in three matches

Blues boss Frank Lampard (above) has seen his side keep three clean sheets in three matches

And it transpires that free agent Thiago Silva and previously-unknown goalkeeper Edouard Mendy that are the key additions that are helping the Blues pick up vital points as their season heats up.  


Chelsea with Thiago Silva (5 games): 

Average Goals For: 2.6

Average Goals Against: 0.6

Win Percentage: 40%

Premier League xGA: 1.9 

Chelsea without Silva (5 games):

Average Goals For: 2.2

Average Goals Against: 1.4

Win Percentage: 40%

Premier League xGA: 7.1 

(All competitions unless stated, stats by Opta) 


Placed at the heart of a shaky back line where Lampard has not managed to find his best combinations yet, it is no surprise that Thiago Silva has made a difference to Chelsea's fortunes.

While Chelsea have the same win percentage with Thiago Silva both on and off the pitch, but they also look like conceding fewer goals. When the veteran defender is playing, Chelsea have an expected goals against in the Premier League of 1.9, compared to 7.1 when Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen are on the pitch.

But one of the more interesting stats is that Chelsea have actually scored more goals with the Brazilian in the side, with the Blues more capable of playing out from the back due to Silva's passing accuracy. 

Out of all the players who have started a Premier League match for Chelsea this season, no-one has better passing statistics than the 36-year-old, who has successfully completed a ball to another team-mate 95.3 per cent of the time. 

Both Christensen (92.8 per cent) and Zouma (89.5 per cent) are also tidy in possession and have good passing rates in the top-flight, but that extra bit of quality provided by the Brazilian can make all the difference to Chelsea's fortunes.

No-one in the Chelsea side has a better passing accuracy rate than Thiago Silva (above)

No-one in the Chelsea side has a better passing accuracy rate than Thiago Silva (above)


Kepa Arrizabalaga (Premier League):

Average goal kick length: 40 yards 

Passing percentage: 79.2%  

Edouard Mendy (Premier League): 

Average goal kick length: 16 yards 


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