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Should Everton Be After Thiago Silva?

Can Everton get more than £20 million of value from a 35-year-old centre-back?

Paris Saint-Germain Press Conference - Champions League Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

PSG captain Thiago Silva is set to leave the French champions on a free transfer this summer after eight seasons with the club.

He’s played a key role in them becoming the dominant force in French football, winning seven Ligue 1 titles in that time.

Carlo Ancelotti was even the man that signed Silva for PSG, picking up the Brazilian for a whopping €42 million in 2012. And the Ancelotti connection doesn’t end there. Carlo also first brought Silva to European football, signing the centre-back for AC Milan in January 2009, just a few months before he himself departed for Chelsea.

It’s unsurprising, therefore, that Everton are rumoured to be in for the vastly experienced Brazil defender this summer.

The trouble is, he’s 35 and on an absolute wedge (reported to be over €300,000 per week at PSG).

And, let’s face it: how often do these veteran signings have happy endings?

Paul Gascoigne, David Ginola, Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto’o… we’ve been there before.

There’s always still a glimmer of that exceptional talent that once put these players amongst the world’s elite. But they’re never week-in, week-out match winners.

Yes, he may bring some valuable experience.

Yes, he’s sure to have some quality.

But is this the player that will take Everton Football Club to the next level?

Because, don’t kid yourself: this is a big money signing once you factor in his wages, with no prospect of clawing some of that money back by selling him at some point.

Silva reportedly wants a two-year deal and I doubt he’ll be up for accepting drastically reduced wages when he’s available on a “free” and not short of suitors.

Let’s say he takes a near 50 per cent wage cut, to a paltry £200,000 per week. That’s £10.4 million per season. And assuming he’ll dig in his heels to get a two-year deal, that’s £20.8 million you’re looking at.

Sure, you could say Everton have spent worse money. But that doesn’t mean that’s the standard we should be following.

In order to justify spending more than £20 million with no hope of cash return, the only justification can be if he plays a substantial part in getting us into the Champions League.

And my feeling is that the difference between Everton and the top four doesn’t lie at the feet of a 35-year-old centre-half.

There’s a reason PSG are letting him leave for nothing.

Thiago Silva still has some use, but this isn’t value for money and it’s not the big-money signing that will take Everton to the next level.