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Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer blown away by Chelsea star after FA Cup win

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Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Jonathan Woodgate were practically mesmerised by Thiago Silva after the veteran defender helped Chelsea beat Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

The Blues booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a routine 2-0 win at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech both scored first-half goals for Thomas Tuchel’s side but Lineker, Shearer and Woodgate reserved a large majority of their praise for Silva.

Silva has been a mainstay in Chelsea’s team over the past two seasons, helping the west London club win the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup since his move from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2020.

Former England striker Lineker joked that Silva, 37, could play well into his 50s while Woodgate said he felt ‘lucky’ to watch the Brazilian live after he cruised through the FA Cup tie at Boro.

Premier League legend Shearer, meanwhile, said ‘class act’ Silva is ‘two or three seconds ahead of everyone’ else on the pitch.

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Chelsea became the first team to qualify for the FA Cup semi-finals this weekend, with Manchester City, Liverpool, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Everton and Nottingham Forest looking to join the Blues in the draw.

Gary Lineker: ‘Thiago Silva was given Man of the Match, he makes the game look so easy. The way he plays, he could play until he’s 58!’

Jonathan Woodgate: ‘He had a pair of slippers on he was that good. He’s so focused, so calm on the ball, intercepts, reads the game. It was an outstanding performance. I feel lucky to watch him live, 37 years old, still playing. He played on Wednesday night and he’s just played again today! He’s magnificent. Doesn’t give the ball away.’

Alan Shearer: ‘We say Mason Mount is two or three seconds ahead of everyone, well he [Silva] is the same in the defensive situations. He seems to know and read and understand where that ball is going to go the second before the forward does. And the number of times he can nip in in front because he anticipates it.’

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GL: ‘And you very rarely see him on his backside, do you? I know that sounds daft, but a lot of defenders it’s last-ditch, sliding tackles, they’re committing themselves. But he’s always on his feet.’

JW: ‘That’s what the top defenders do. He senses danger, he’s ahead of the game, he’s two moves ahead, he plays it like a game of chess. He knows exactly what he has to do in that exact minute and he’s been a fantastic signing for Chelsea – a free transfer as well!’

AS: ‘A lot of the moves start with him because he’s not afraid to have the ball and can handle it under pressure. Therefore he then expects the same of his teammates, he can then give them the ball under pressure. He’s just a class act.’

Meanwhile, Tuchel praised his Chelsea team after they brushed aside Middlesbrough and insisted the players cannot afford to show any ‘self-pity’ despite the uncertainty surrounding Stamford Bridge.

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The Blues are looking for new owners after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government as part of its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Tuchel said: ‘The players have impressed me. At one point we had to accept we didn’t cause the situation and we cannot influence the situation no matter what we do and how much we talk about it.

‘We had to find a certain level of accepting the situation and focusing on what we can influence, which is our performance.

‘I feel the responsibility. We are concerned that there are seven or eight hundred people working at Chelsea and a lot of people worried more maybe existentially.

‘It is my responsibility and everybody’s responsibility to show the right spirit, to show positivity and not go into self pity and worry about a situation we did not cause and cannot change.’

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Report: Chelsea agree personal terms with Inter Milan superstar

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Chelsea look to be closing in on the signing of 19-year-old midfielder Cesare Casadei.

The Blues are reportedly agreeing personal terms with the Inter Milan youngster ahead of what is expected to be a €15m (plus add-ons) transfer. Inter had been looking for around €20m all told.

As per Fabrizio Romano, and others, the highly promising Italy youth international, though who has yet to make his senior professional debut, has agreed a six-year deal with the Blues, choosing Chelsea over the likes of OGC Nice in France and US Sassuolo in Italy.

Presumably, Casadei will not be joining the Chelsea first-team right away, though post-Brexit work permit rules are fairly esoteric and confusing.

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Perhaps he will end up joining one of the aforementioned teams on loan to build up the necessary professional experience? Just speculating…

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While the two teams have yet to agree a transfer, this looks to be drawing to a successful conclusion for us, adding yet another teenager talent to the team as we look to build for not only this season but for many seasons in the future.

See also  Chelsea given hope with American groups in three-way tussle after Abramovich sanctions
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Mikel Arteta drops Youri Tielemans hint as Arsenal can sign ‘more complete’ N’Golo Kante

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Today’s Arsenal transfer round-up on Tuesday, August 16.

Tielemans hint

Mikel Arteta’s increased use of Granit Xhaka could mean that Arsenal are close to giving up on transfer target Youri Tielemans.

The Gunners are still chasing a deal for the Leicester City midfielder but have seen their chances dwindle of doing a deal this summer and now, despite Xhaka previously saying he had come close to leaving, the club could have to do without a new addition.

Xhaka is now part of a new leadership group at the Emirates Stadium, a possible indication that he may remain at the club and throw a move for Tielemans into doubt.

See also  Thomas Tuchel Wants Chelsea to Add 3 More Players By Deadline Day

Kante replacement

With Tielemans becoming less and less attainable this season, Arsenal have reportedly turned their attention elsewhere.

According to the Express, Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs including the Gunners and Manchester United. Having been previously compared with Kante, Arsenal’s desire to sign Caicedo is understandable.

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South American football expert Tim Vickery said, “A year ago he was saying that Kante of Chelsea is his role model but he is already more than that. He already offers more in the final third.”

Yeremi Pino flight explained

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has cleared the air regarding Yeremi Pino and denies that a bid has been made for him.

Romano told CaughtOffside, “Many clubs have been following Yeremi Pino for months, he is a top player of the future that at least three Premier League clubs have been monitoring for some time.

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“No proposals have been made yet to Villarreal, who would like more than €50m for their young star; it will not be an easy negotiation.

“As for the rumours about Arsenal – Edu was not travelling to Spain to meet Villarreal, also because Pino’s agents are based in the UK (Stellar Group).”

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Erik Ten Hag believes £64,000 a week player will agree to join Man United – Report

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Despite signing two defenders this summer, Manchester United’s backline has been terrible this season and yet another defender is linked with a move to Old Trafford.

Yesterday, we covered a story (via Sport) claiming that the Red Devils have submitted an offer to sign Sergino Dest, who has received a clear message to leave Barcelona.

Today, the Spanish news source have covered another report and stated that the American international has not been able to impress in the last two years, moreover, he failed to convince Xavi in pre-season. Therefore, his exit is considered essential.

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Erik ten Hag wants to get rid of Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer so that he can complete the signing of Dest, who is valued at 20 million euros.

The Catalan media outlet claim the Dutch manager believes that the 21-year-old Barca defender will agree (say Yes) to join Man United.

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Ten Hag really needs to understand that players from the Netherlands or connections with Ajax are not guaranteed to solve the conundrum at Old Trafford.

Under Van Gaal, Depay and Blind failed to shine for Man United. For Ten Hag, thus far, the likes of Eriksen, Martinez and Malacia have not settled.

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Now, he is pushing to sign another ex Ajax player in the form of Dest. The American was a hit in the Eredivisie but has proved to be average in the La Liga.

The youngster’s current contract at the Nou Camp will expire in 2025 and he earns around £64,000 a week (The Sun).

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