Monday, 21 November 2011 12:27

PortuGOAL exclusiveShot-shy Everton see no need for Silva’s bullets

Joao Silva to be released by Premier League club

Joao SilvaAs of this weekend, Everton FC have played eleven Premier League games. In these eleven games, they have scored 13 goals. This return is insufficient for a side that seeks anything other than mid-table obscurity or, at worst, being drawn into a relegation struggle. Yet Portuguese striker Joao Silva is set to play no further part in the future of the Merseyside club.
Of this baker’s dozen of strikes, just three have been scored by what one would describe as ‘forwards’:  a solitary effort from veteran Frenchman Louis Saha, and a brace from their 19-year-old Greek striker Apostolos Vellios. Jack Rodwell and Royston Drenthe have chipped in four goals from midfield, but ask any Everton fan and they’ll tell you that the Toffees are light up top.
This writer was at St James’ Park a fortnight ago to watch Everton go down 2-1 to the then unbeaten Newcastle United and would have to agree with the Everton fans’ consensus. While the hosts merited victory, Everton are brimming with midfield talent; the aforementioned Drenthe and Rodwell, but also Marouane Fellaini, the returning James McFadden, Leon Osman and so on.

Forgotten man

Everton created plenty of chances against the miserly Magpies’ defence but it’s very clear that what they lack is a dyed-in-the-wool hitman capable of returning 20-or-more goals a season. The youthful Vellios might prove to be that man but there is another young striker on Everton’s books, the 21-year-old Portuguese, Joao Pedro Pereira Silva. To describe Silva as a ‘forgotten man’ of the English Premier League would be something of an understatement as the native of Vila das Aves has yet to kick a ball in anger for the Liverpudlian side.
Signed from hometown club CD Aves in June 2010 on a three-year deal, the ink was barely dry on the contract before Silva returned to Iberia on a year-long loan deal with Uniao de Leiria, where his 12 appearances returned a respectable four goals. Perhaps the second season of Silva’s Merseyside tenure would provide the breakthrough? Sadly not, as Silva remains in Portugal on another season-long loan, this time with Vitoria de Setubal.
Thus far this season, Silva’s dozen appearances for Vitoria have returned another four goals but shot-shy Everton won’t be recalling the striker to help address their attacking weaknesses. Indeed, PortuGOAL can exclusively reveal that Silva’s Everton career is almost certainly at an end, even before it has begun in earnest.
Everton are crying out for a striker, but seem unwilling to give Silva a chance, preferring that he spend what will total two years of his three-year contract on loan back in his native Portugal. A contract that, all evidence seems to suggest, will not be renewed. So, what’s the problem? We spoke with a source very close to the club who told us: “Silva was spotted by one of the clubs most experienced scouts and terms were agreed with the player. The fee paid to CD Aves was reported as ‘undisclosed’ but I understand it was 875,000 euro. What’s gone ‘wrong’ as such is that player just wasn’t showing in training the potential that had led to his signing.


Good attitude

“There were no problems with the player’s attitude or application – by all accounts he’s a very nice guy and was well  liked – but it didn’t look at any stage that he was going to fit into the style of play required for the Premier League, despite being big and fast. The club felt that he should go on loan and have kept tabs on him but there have not really been any developments to suggest anything has changed in this regard. There’s next to no chance that he’ll pull on an Everton shirt and that the club will either release him or let him run down his contact, but there won’t be a new one on the table, I’m certain of that,” our insider added.
Everton is not a particularly rich club by EPL standards but 875,000 euro is not a lot of money in this league. Clubs take chances on raw talent and, sadly, the number that fall by the wayside far outstrips those that make it. Silva has shown enough to suggest he will enjoy a decent career in Liga Sagres – so his career is still likely going to have him in the top 5% of footballers – but he won’t play in England’s top flight, the richest and most competitive league in world football.
by John Hunt
© PortuGOAL. No reproduction without permission
Related: Joao Silva interview – “I need opportunities”
Comments (11)
11 Tuesday, 22 November 2011 10:43
I respect Everton's decision if they want to release him.

Just because they don't have many good strikers at the moment, it doesn't mean they are crazy to let him go.

Joao Silva is hardly the next Eusebio. He is just a promising young striker, but that is all. I think Wilson Eduardo is a more exciting prospect personally (and Apostolos Vellios for that matter), but time will tell.

Joao Silva has hardly set the Liga alight with Setubal, and while he has notched a few goals, he still has a lot more to do to even be considered a player who could one day be a success in a big league like the Premier League.

Hopefully he will stay in Portugal, learn, develop, and move onto a bigger challenge in the future if he becomes the player we all hope he does. Better than playing a few Carling Cup games every season.

This is no different to the Bebe situation at Man Utd. They took a punt on a young player, but quickly realised they made a mistake so loaned him out before they inevitably sell him in a year or so at a financial loss (a big loss in Man Utd's case).

Maybe Everton will regret their decision one day, like Atletico Madrid did when they got rid of a very young Raul. Let's hope so anyway.
Everton are Sht
10 Tuesday, 22 November 2011 10:32
Moyes is a clown. I've seen Everton several times this year and ive see a host of chances been wasted by their so called strikers.Joao Silva should have been given a chamce.
Training is training and its not the intensity or the same as the game.
Sending him out to loan in Setubal for gods sake. How is that going to help.!
He should have been given 15-20 min off the bench a few games.
Then Everton can say it didnt work.
I hope Everton live to regret it.
9 Tuesday, 22 November 2011 09:07
I'm sorry but you seem to contradict yourself, you say he should be given a chance in the best league in the world but has struggled to score four goals in his term at a lower league side in Portugal. If Moyes thought he would was good enough he would have brought him back and played him in the reserves, unfortunaely he isnt and there is no line of managers beating our door to take him off our hands.
Some points
8 Tuesday, 22 November 2011 05:08
Moyes gets a lot of credit for what he's accomplished at Everton, supposedly with so much less. For me, I think that he could have done more. Everton had a really strong squad the last few years. They weren't deep, but they also didn't have any European competition to deal with.

Eddie, I disagree with your notion that the epl plays "British" football. Yes squads like Stoke, Blackburn and others are physical and just punt the ball forward. But there's a ton of teams playing attractive football.
I do agree with your statement in regards to them not playing kids. But you have to understand that the managers job for teams like Everton, is to make sure they don't get relegated. They need to continue getting the tv revenue or it could be over quickly.
EFC needs João Silva
7 Tuesday, 22 November 2011 00:21
Great article, John!
I will translate and publish this on the Hungarian Everton blog, if you don't mind.

I don't get it, why David Moyes doesn't consider João at the first team, because there are clearly big striker problems at Everton. Another talent goes wasted! :S
We are always screaming for portuguese to stay in Portugal?
6 Monday, 21 November 2011 23:51
No, we are always screaming for portuguese teams to play portuguese players!
Joao Silva
5 Monday, 21 November 2011 20:37
As an Evertonian it's interest to read these comments about Silva. I only saw him once in a Blue shirt, coming on as sub in a pre-season and he looked raw to say the least.

We certainly have a dearth of decent strikers and many Blues question Moyes ability to use strikers effectively, especially as all of our coaches are defenders, even at reserve level. The manager's insistence on playing 1 up front is also an issue.

On the subject of individual strikers, Vaughan was sadly massively injury prone whilst Anichebe has a poor attitude. The big hope is Velios who is being used sparingly but showing great promise. I doubt Moyes, cautious by nature, would want to use 2 inexperienced strikers which may explain Silva being surplus to requirements.
4 Monday, 21 November 2011 20:12
Why do Everton fans still support Moyes? He has done nothing to take the club to the next level. He could at least give the young lads a go at it. Saha is done and yet he still gets the bulk of the playing time.
3 Monday, 21 November 2011 17:37
Who knows, maybe this will experience will give Joao the push he needs to bring his game to the next level. Plenty of players battle through adversity because they want to prove people wrong and he's probably still young enough to make a difference, in any case, he will still be a rich young man when all is said done.
Everton is the problem not Joao Silva!
2 Monday, 21 November 2011 16:16
I believe Joao Silva has great potential and he is still only 21 and I would have liked him to succeed at Everton, but at the end of the day they simply didn't put enough trust in him! Honestly who cares about Everton! They are the problem! Look at ALLLLL of their so called strikers! NONE i repeat NONE of them are doing well! And its not to say that they didn't have quality. Saha had quality, just always been crocked, Yakubu had quality and in the last couple 2 years or so has been horrible for them, James Vaughn their young prodigy forward couple years ago had alot of potential , they failed to make the most of it, and he hardly impressed in Everton and I believe they loaned him or sold him. Then they also had that other young English/Nigerian forward Anichibe who had potential as well! He started off okay then completely faded and now you hear NOTHING about him. WHAT is the COMMON DENOMINATOR! Everton FC. The problem is Everton - they simply probably don't know how to motivate/utilize/train/coach their strikers because ALL of them currently at the club have done poorly. Joao Silva HAS been showing his quality in the Portuguese league and he is very young and will only continue to get better. Whats important is that HE is motivated and driven! I read his interviews and he has passion to succeed, so I believe he will continue to improve and show his quality! So considering all this, I actually think its a positive thing and that Joao will be better off with another club. Another top flight Portuguese club will do well to sign him permanently as he is one of the best young forwards in the league or maybe even if a la liga Spanish team comes in for him I will be happy. To be honest the their are very few clubs in the Premier league that I would want Portuguese young stars to go to, because first off the type of football being played their "predominantly english" is not beautiful, La Liga has better culture for attractive football, and also clubs/management in premier league clubs are very uncertain, and most of them don't really have good youth development, or head coaches that really know how to trust and get the best out of young players with potential. So at the end of the day I think Joao will be far better playing in a Portuguese or Spanish club. He has quality and I have faith in him!
I wish him the best
1 Monday, 21 November 2011 13:38
It's disappointing. As fans, we sometimes tend to forget that being big and fast doesn't make you a good ball player.
That being said, this might be a wonderful opportunity for a mid to lower table club in Liga Sagres or a wanting to be promoted team in Liga de Honra, to take a chance on him. He's still young and could definately get better.
We are always screaming for Portuguese players to stay in Portugal, so let's see a team pick him up and do something with him.

As for Everton, I do find it strange that he didn't even get a decent look in a game. Saha is the managers doghouse, and they have little else up top.
Supposedly there will be funds available for the January window, but I can't see it being much. Players that move in January are usually overpriced due to teams being desperate or thinking they just need that one final piece.