Frank Lampard has spoken about his individual plan for Thiago Silva this campaign and says he will hold ‘honest’ talks with him over his playing time at Chelsea.
The Brazilian defender moved to Chelsea on a free transfer after his contract expired at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer and has played six games for the club in all competitions.
There were early concerns over his signing, given Silva recently celebrated his 36th birthday, and he had a Premier League debut to forget as Chelsea drew 3-3 against West Brom in September.
Silva has since settled into life at the club and provided an assured presence at the back with Kurt Zouma as the blues have gone on a nine-match unbeaten streak.
But, Lampard is keen not to overwork Silva and could rest the veteran against Rennes on Wednesday after leaving him at home for Chelsea’s game with Krasnodar last week.
Asked about his plan for managing Silva’s fitness, Lampard said: ‘It’s very important. ‘It’s a question I had about Christian Pulisic and it’s a question I got asked about N’Golo Kante towards the backend of last season a lot.
‘I think within the squad you try to have standards and levels that you train at, physical work, we gauge every day’s fitness work and the input of the players.
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‘We try to balance it out to make sure we have every player at their optimum and every player is different in their own way.
‘So around a general rule of how we train, whether I talk a lot to the sports science team and they give me clues of what they see, some of it is in my eye and with the staff and then a lot of it is my relationship with the players and speaking to them.
‘And I think particularly when you have an experienced player who is such a great professional as Thiago is, that honest conversation is very easy.’
Lampard added: ‘If it means managing training, managing game-time as we did last week with Russia, I’ll be very up front and honest with him in terms of what I think and what he thinks.
‘We will do our best. I remember it at the back-end of my career, I had to change my training programme. ‘So I’ll be very open to looking at small tweaks for Thiago.’