CHELSEA’S transfer dealings may have excited their fans recently but the Stamford Bridge faithful have been struggling to stay awake on match days.
The Blues have won just twice since the turn of the year, scoring only three goals in their last seven fixtures.
After two 0-0 draws in a row, a lack of potency and cohesiveness in the final third is Graham Potter’s primary concern but three consecutive clean sheets reflect positively on the defensive unit.
gettyClean sheets are coming far easier than goals for Chelsea right now[/caption]
This contrast is reflected starkly by the Dream Team rankings.
Mason Mount (£3.6m), Hakim Ziyech (£2.6m) and the like have barely produced two points to rub together in the last few Game Weeks whereas Kepa Arrizabalaga (£3.4m) and Thiago Silva (£5.8m) are thriving.
The latter has been among the top ten defenders pretty much since the get-go.
An absolute class act, the veteran centre-back’s overall tally of 107 points puts him fourth in his position – only the Newcastle trio of Kieran Trippier (£6.6m), Fabian Schar (£4.8m) and Dan Burn (£4.8m) are above him.
After a lean run of ten points in eight outings between Game Weeks 12 and 17, Silva has responded superbly with 29 in his last three appearances.
The Brazilian defender was deservedly named Star Man against Liverpool and he narrowly missed out on making it two from two following his side’s stalemate with west London rivals Fulham on Friday night.
gettyFine wines and all that[/caption]
Silva is in a league of his own among team-mates, 29 points ahead of Chelsea’s next-best player, and 44 points ahead of the club’s second-best defender, Marc Cucurella (£3.3m).
The aforementioned Arrizabalaga is that man 29 points short of Silva but it’s worth noting that Edouard Mendy (£3.2m) was first-choice goalkeeper for the first two months of the campaign.
In fact, among keepers to have played at least five games this season, only Nick Pope (£5.3m) averages more points-per-game (4.8) than the Chelsea’s Spaniard (4.1).
Arrizabalaga has worked his way up to third in the rankings among assets in his position and yet he features in just 2% of teams, making him significantly less popular than the likes of Alisson (£3.9m), Aaron Ramsdale (£4.2m) and Ederson (£4.5m), who all have fewer points at the time of writing.
gettyOverlooked by Dream Team managers[/caption]
In fact, even Silva’s ownership is a modest 5.4% and he’s been consistently brilliant for months on end now.
It’s likely that many Dream Team gaffers are assuming that Chelsea’s inability to score goals means there’s no points to be had but in Kepa and Silva, Stamford Bridge is home to two of the very best defensive assets in the game this season.