On-loan Brighton defender Levi Colwill has praised centre-back rival Thiago Silva, labelling him ‘a joke’, and lauded .
The 20-year-old has had a rather mixed stay on the south coast, taking a while to earn a spot in the team before a quad injury sustained in January saw him miss six weeks of the season.
When he has played, Colwill has delivered precocious and mature displays, with Brighton winning six of the eight Premier League games he has featured in.
He returned to action in a narrow 1-0 win over before the international break, keeping a clean sheet, and also impressed for England Under-21s – with many believing it will not be long before he makes the step up to the senior team.
Although Chelsea have spent big on centre-backs recently, the west London club are and he will fancy his chances of coming back to Stamford Bridge in the summer and competing for a place in the starting XI.
In an interview with , Colwill says he is already used to fighting for his place – up against the likes of Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Joel Veltman – and feels Chelsea’s current defenders are ‘no better’ than his present team-mates.
Colwill will need to usurp the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and Benoit Badiashile, but it is Thiago Silva he rates the highest, describing the Brazilian as ‘a joke’.
Reflecting on his loan so far, he said: ‘My loan spell has been a rollercoaster. At the start, I wasn’t playing as much as I’d have liked.
‘Now, I’m playing and learning a lot each game, gaining my team-mates’ respect and [respect] from everyone who perhaps lost respect for me when I wasn’t playing.’
Somewhat ironically, it was the departure of Potter to Chelsea – and the arrival of Roberto De Zerbi – that saw Colwill handed more first-team opportunities, though he is a big fan of the current Blues boss.
He continued: ‘Graham’s a great man. When he was here, I had loads of conversations with him, always guiding me the right way, telling me how he wants to play. I’ve not spoken with him since he left. I think he’ll start doing good things at Chelsea soon.’
On De Zerbi he added: ‘If you watched me at Huddersfield Town, you’d see a completely different player in terms of my composure and awareness. The manager has helped me so much: in training, he’s always there, hands-on.
‘He’s also giving me that freedom to play, to make my own choices and express how good I really am. That’s the best part of it. The stuff he does in training, the way he plans games . . . it’s amazing.’
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