The centre-back is one of two arrivals at Stamford Bridge this summer who hasn’t cost any money as he is a free transfer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of last season.
Tasked with helping improve the Blues’ defensive record, there has been some question marks surrounding the Brazilian’s age.
And speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show, the former Manchester United defender outlined the problems Silva could face in the Premier League and is intrigued to see how he fares.
“It’s an unknown. 35, 36 next week, played in the French league now for the last few years,” Neville said. “The intensity of the French league is nothing like our league – that’s not to say Paris Saint-Germain haven’t got world-class players, they’ve just got to a Champions League final.
“But you think of the Premier League, particularly the intensity of this Premier League season, when you think of the fact that it’s a season that’s compact, it’s going to be a massive challenge for him to deal with the intensity, the amount of games, the speed of the football compared to what he’s been used to.
“It’s gonna be a step-up, in that respect.
“Can he play in individual matches? Of course he can, he’s a world-class player.
“But at this stage in his career, it’s an element of when you say, ‘Can Chelsea win the league?’, it’s just a complete unknown if he can improve that defence.
“What’s the goalkeeper gonna be like? What are the young forwards gonna be like?
“But I’m intrigued to know how this world-class defender who has played for many years with Brazil, and has been a wonderful player for PSG, how is he going to do in our league?”
Why should you sign up?
In each football.london Chelsea bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.
We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Chelsea section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Given deals for Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, these comments may come as a surprise to some.
Neville and Chelsea fans will have to wait to see Silva in action as Blues head coach Frank Lampard has revealed he won’t feature against Brighton.
“Thiago Silva is now in London but won’t be training with us until the weekend, so I doubt very much he’ll be in contention for the Brighton game,” he told reporters.