Three possible Thiago Silva replacements for Chelsea

Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan (Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images)
Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan (Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images) /
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Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Milan Skriniar of Inter Milan (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan) Slovakia

Skriniar has just finished what was a successful season with Inter Milan. It is probably not what the Inter hierarchy described as a success though, as Inter fell short of the summit, winning on the final day but still coming in second. Skriniar himself can be proud of a superb individual season. He helped Inter to a second-placed finish, with the second-best defense in the league. Inter conceded the second-fewest goals (32), only one behind the best defense (AC Milan). Inter also lost the joint-fewest games in the league season (4). Skriniar contributed to 12 out of Inter’s 15 clean sheets this season. Skriniar arrived at Inter five years ago and has made 172 league appearances for them, averaging 34.4 appearances per season.

Skriniar was very good last season. He made 31 league appearances and averaged 0.7 interceptions per game and won 71% of his tackles, averaging 1.3 tackles per game. He made 0.89 blocks p90. Skriniar won 2.3 ground duels per game at a 55% success rate. His aerial numbers were poor though, as he won 1.5 aerial duels per game, at a 50% success rate. Skriniar is 1.87m tall (~ 6 ft. 2) and should definitely be winning more aerial duels per game yet he only ranks in the 56th percentile in aerials won per game and in the 28th percentile for the percentage of aerials won.

He was instrumental in helping Inter recycle possession and bring the ball out of the defense. He completed 55.7 passes per game at a 93% success rate. This is identical with Silva’s 93% passing accuracy. He made 3 long balls per game at a 73% accuracy. His long ball accuracy underlines his technical ability. His ball progression needs work though, and is nowhere up to level of Silva’s as just 4% of his passes are progressive, with 6% of his carries being progressive. Skriniar currently plays on the right side of a three-centerback formation but his reading of the game and technical ability suggest he’d do just fine in the center of a back three.

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Chelsea may even be able to get Skriniar in a swap deal with reports coming out that Romelu Lukaku is actively looking for a move back to Inter. Skriniar’s contract runs out next year, so Chelsea has some leverage in negotiations as inter would not want to lose the Slovakian in a free transfer. Statistics are courtesy of SofaScore, FBRef and WhoScored. Contract information is courtesy of Transfermarkt.