Thiago Silva claims Chelsea team-mate Reece James can be one of the best players in history and rates new manager Graham Potter



James scored, made an assist and helped the team keep a clean sheet as Chelsea beat AC Milan 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Former England stars Joe Cole and Rio Ferdinand were full of praise for James after Chelsea’s victory and Silva also spoke glowingly about his team-mate.

‘He’s a very young athlete but looks like he’s been playing football for so many years,’ Silva told Hayters . ‘It’s easy to talk about him because he is someone I really like. ‘I hope he can continue with this winning mentality because he is a guy who works really hard and deserves all this success. He is one of the strengths of our team, both offensively and defensively.

‘I hope he can continue like this, because is he keeps this winning mentality he has everything to be one of the best in history.’ Brazilian veteran Silva also praised new Blues boss Potter after Chelsea kicked their Champions League campaign into gear against AC Milan. Former Brighton manager Potter was named as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement last month and has won two of his first three matches in charge of the side.

‘He’s a very special guy, a very nice and humble guy,’ Silva said. ‘We have just had a few weeks together but we’ve had some nice conversations. ‘He knows how to manage players well and he organises the team well with his human, humble communications. That makes us grow as players and reach our goals.

‘Today was a special victory for him and his first one at home. Hopefully it continues like this.’

Silva spent three years at AC Milan before enjoying a lengthy and successful spell at Paris Saint- Germain, his last club before Chelsea. On facing one of his former sides and next week’s away fixture at the San Siro, the 38-year-old added:

‘I felt good, a special day and an important win. ‘Since I left Milan I didn’t play against them for 12 years, so after 12 years we met again. ‘For sure next week will be special because I lived some of my best days with them. So I hope to have another special night like tonight.’

Chelsea, currently fifth in the Premier League, return to domestic action on Saturday against Wolves, who are yet to appoint a replacement for sacked manager Bruno Lage.

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