Frank Lampard has admitted to being surprised by the quality Thiago Silva has brought to his Chelsea side, saying he was not capable of such displays at the same stage in his own career.
Brazil defender Thiago Silva made the move to Chelsea from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, and he has slotted in seamlessly in the Premier League.
He set Chelsea on the way to three points against West Ham with a brilliant header on 10 minutes.
It is testament to his quality that he has adapted so well at the age of 36, an age Lampard says he found it tough to perform on a consistent basis.
“I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and I could not play like he’s been playing, week in, week out,” Lampard told Sky Sports . “I was in and out of the team and I could feel it at that stage of my career.
"I knew he was a top player, and has been a top player for a long time, but the pressures of the Premier League when you have never played in it. So he has exceeded it (expectations). But I should not have been surprised as I am working with him.
"The preparation, the reading of the game, the desire to win headers and to compete against anyone he is playing against.”
Lampard, who was thrilled with the character his side showed against West Ham, feels Thiago Silva would ease straight into a coaching role should he wish to take that direction when he retires.
“He is studious and will be a manager or whatever he wants to be afterwards," Lampard said.
“He has been a great addition on and off the pitch.”
Thiago Silva has two goals to his name since joining Chelsea, with his header against West Ham following up on his effort in the 4-1 win over Sheffield United in November.
While the goal is important, the defender would have been just as happy with the clean sheet against the Hammers.
Since making the move to Stamford Bridge, Thiago Silva has been involved in eight Chelsea clean sheets.
Up next for Chelsea and their Brazilian defender is a meeting with Arsenal on Boxing Day, which is followed by a visit from Aston Villa.