Tuesday August 6 2013
Silvestre – a gamble worth taking

The arrival of Matias Silvestre at Milan may be a winning gamble for the Rossoneri, as Lorenzo Vicini explains.

“I had nothing against Parma and Genoa – I thank the two clubs for the interest shown, but I was hoping for a high level solution. And luckily, Milan remembered me. I couldn’t have hoped for more…I’m here to respond to their trust with facts.”

When Milan swooped in to sign Silvestre from rivals Inter several days ago, it gave the defender from Mercedes, Argentina, a second chance – a chance to prove that he belongs in a top team. Always the shrewd businessman, Galliani only spent €1m for the loan deal and negotiated a fixed purchase price of €4m. The Rossoneri are placing a smart bet that the defender can recover the form that made him one of Serie A’s most valuable defensive commodities only a couple of years ago.  

It would be too easy to label Silvestre’s tenure at Inter as a flop, and indeed, it was. Yet, that term could just as easily have been applied to practically any player of Andrea Stramaccioni’s Inter. Expected to fight for a starting spot, Matias was unable to force his way into the team, ending up as the fourth choice central defender behind Andrea Ranocchia, Juan Jesus and Walter Samuel.

To make matters worse, Silvestre, like many of his teammates, suffered through two separate injuries that shelved him for two months total between the end of February and May. Had he managed to stay healthy, there was a good possibility he would have seen more action given Walter Samuel was out with an Achilles’ problem.

Nonetheless, Silvestre was limited to a grand total of nine appearances in Serie A and nine more in the Europa League. His showings were average at best and he hardly resembled the confident defender who had played brilliantly for Catania and Palermo. It cemented claims that Matias performs well for a provincial side, but he is just not cut out for a top club. He buckled under the pressure and expectation that comes with joining one of Serie A’s elite teams.

So, did Milan make a poor move to sign him? An examination of the player’s past in the Italian top flight quickly dispels that notion.

Making his way over to the peninsula from Argentine giants Boca Juniors, Silvestre began his career in Italy with Catania. During his three seasons with the Elefanti, Silvestre developed into one of the better stoppers in the League. He possessed a physical style, strong in the air and had good footwork, an attribute attested to his earlier days playing as a midfielder.    

By the summer of 2011, Silvestre was ready to move up the ladder. When Palermo signed him for €7.3m, the Rosanero beat out competition from other top sides in Serie A. The South American had an immediate impact at the club and was immovable from the starting lineup. His eye for goal was an added bonus as he led Serie A in scoring as a defender for the second year in a row. After the campaign, he made the jump to Inter, who acquired him for €8m.

Now at Milan, Silvestre joins a club that is already thin at the back. With Philippe Mexes and Cristian Zapata as the preferred duo and Daniele Bonera out for two to three months due to a fractured patella, Matias benefits from an opportunity to showcase his talents with less pressure given the nature of his transfer. He is a great, low-cost option for Milan’s backline and brings a wealth of Serie A experience that a young player like Jherson Vergara cannot provide. His tactical awareness and positioning should fit in nicely with Allegri’s style and his ability to score goals is an added bonus.

It’s a potential win-win situation for the club. If Silvestre does not pan out, Milan will only lose the money paid to loan him while saving the €4m it would cost to purchase him outright. Should he thrive in his new surroundings, though, Silvestre will be just another smart gamble at a low price that paid off for Galliani and Milan.  

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Have your say...
Maldini's Heir, I think that you are being kind when you said it was weird. Inter's approach is plain stupid & illogical:spend a fortune on the academy and on developing players for several years, only to sell them for relative peanuts, and then spend considerably more on foreign imports-most of which are no better than the Italians that they sell. The sales of Donati & Caldirola disappointed me. Over the coming years, I expect Milan to provide some real gems to the U21's.
on the 10th August, 2013 at 12:08pm
@Anonymous .. Not sure what you're talking about? Are you suggesting that Baggio started at Inter?? Just in case you are i'd have to tell you that you're wrong.
on the 9th August, 2013 at 4:22pm
@ Dan Giambrone I agree in fairness to Inter they produce some quality young players and supply far more players for the U21s than Milan do. But what happens then? Donati and Caldirola are the latest players. Apparently they're good enough for Germany but not Serie A? It's weird.
on the 9th August, 2013 at 1:10pm
Anon, I'll give you Balotelli, but even he was behind Milito & Eto in the pecking order, & was mostly a sub. Pirlo & Baggio were both rotting on Inter's bench, playing very little. Baggio had a tough time at both Milan clubs because of injuries & the pragmatic coaches that he played under. Inter do produce good Italian youngsters, I just wish that they would give them a fair chance.
on the 9th August, 2013 at 11:42am
@ Maldini's Heir - The Embarassment for Moratti was that magazine cover that said '100 million, 10 years, 0 scudetto" with his face under it and that was published in 2005. that's what started Scamopoli. That Juve team under Capello was one of the best teams of its time and the heart of the italian national team. How could Inter ever try getting to that level if Juve had all those "fuori-classe" players on 1 roster. As least Silveste won't have to play qualifying round for coppa italia at Mila
on the 8th August, 2013 at 7:24pm
@ your research and you will see it's true. it's the contract he signed with Inter 3 years 9 mill......4.5 to him, 4.5 to the Gov. That is why he refused a paycut to go to parma and opted for the loan deal in Milan. I have 2 words to explain that salary "MARCO BRANCA"

Inter didn't enter the Tim Cup this year as a winner of the trophy for 3 years in a row what is Inter going to win this year ?? NOTHING!
on the 8th August, 2013 at 5:26pm
In that case, my sincere apologies Moh.
I hope to talk to you soon.
on the 8th August, 2013 at 2:34pm

You misinterpreted my intention, actually I was hoping for an enjoyable debate like the "economics logic", oh well guess I'll debate with Juve supporters on twitter...
on the 8th August, 2013 at 10:43am
Meanwhile all those years when Inter were moaning it did not stop Milan, Roma and Lazio winning Scudetti. That 2006 season Inter finished 15 points behind Juve and 12 behind Milan. I'd have been embarrassed to have been handed a title for that season. I know you've probably been supporting Inter for many years but it's not too late to turn to the red and black! Anyway back to the article just because Silvestre had a bad season at Inter does not tell us very much....
on the 8th August, 2013 at 8:44am
@ Inter fans if you are going to have a go at Milan it is probably best not to query the clubs success. Milan are after all the joint most successful club in the world. By all means have a go at our president, Uncle Fester, our transfer policy and, yes, the endless injuries thanks to Milan Lab. I still stand by what I said about Inter. Granted Pirlo became a truly great player thanks to a bit of magic by Ancelloti and Carlo Mazzone but seriously how could you turn Cannavaro into a bad player?
on the 8th August, 2013 at 8:40am
@ Viktoria

"Napoli will win the league Milan will be second and juve third. Mark my words."

I only marked your stupidity there. I think you can see that on bra only.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 4:22pm
Considering the apparent world class facility of Milanello, Milan sure do seem to get a lot of injuries. Considering it was built in 1963 I find it amusing how Milan still cling on to it as if it's state of the art and modern.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 4:20pm
@Maldini's Air Inter did not ruin the careers of Cannavaro, Pirlo and Seedorf what none sense. As for 'crippling' other teams we only signed 2 players from Juve not 'all' and nobody else lost players or the right to play in Serie A so what is it with all these lame excuses? Feeling down that Inter have over shadowed your team? We have beaten you in 11 of the last 14 derbys, enough said.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 3:42pm
A gamble is never a win-win, that's why it is called such. I don't think he will solve much in the defense but I hope I'm wrong

"maybe Zoli can shed some light on this matter"
Moh, I probably could but it'd be useless. I honestly thought you're better then to retreat to sarcasm.

"Maldini's heir You certainly have no sense in what you are saying."
Anonymus, your comment would have been fine without this. Couple of things I recommend : respect and freedom of speech.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 3:39pm
@No.10 Manny..Inter won a Coppa Italia in 2011 cheer up kid. @Maldini's Hair I always hear how Juve n Milan were unlucky during calciopoli and Inter took advantage but never hear logic on this matter from none Inter fans which is if they did not cheat Inter would have won MORE not less titles. It is those cheaters that ruined Serie A so stop being so bitter. The things Inter achieve under prejudice and nationalistic bias your club can never match. Soon under Thohir Inter will again be No.1
on the 7th August, 2013 at 3:37pm
How are Milan thin at the back? The concern should be over whether or not they're good enough at the back. And the answer is -unless Mexes ever reaches his potential- NO.

What is with this team? A guy gets hurt (and he's not going to be out that long) and they suddenly need somebody? They have 90 guys on their roster. How about you focus on a certain level of quality and on need? They don't need Honda either, but being cheap and only going if Robinho is out for a tad bit? Obnoxious team.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 2:42pm
Arr god Intermilan fans are so deluded its hilarious that treble winning season is the reason you had to sell players like maicon cesar eto and snejider because Mourinho broke the bank and left you with nothing after, your a mid table team now, you won nothing after 2010 which was 3 years ago, your becoming as bad as Liverpool fans living in the past, juventus Napoli and fiorentina are Atleast building and carrying Italian football on there shoulders along with A.C Milan
on the 7th August, 2013 at 2:25pm

There is NO way he's getting 1.5 a year.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 12:02pm
Napoli will win the league Milan will be second and juve third. Mark my words.
Silvestre signing is a joke. I'm embarrassed. Get Astori. Sign lljalic and get Honda.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 12:00pm
Maldini's heir You certainly have no sense in what you are saying...where do you think Balotelli started and was formed? How about Pirlo? Have you heard of someone called Baggio? so how about shutting up and show respect to Inter, oh btw Balo is currently the best Azzurri sriker...
on the 7th August, 2013 at 11:55am
I should say that Milan are apparently saying that they do not have the funds to sign Astori. This is a player we used to own! A simple solution would have been not to have loaned him out ad infinitum before selling him. I hope we have learnt this lesson so that we do not make the same mistakes with our current youth players. It seems at least Milan are turning the corner in this respect. It would have been good to see Milan try and sign Caldirola and Donati from Inter.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 10:02am
@ Interista and Greaseman Inter brought Italian football to its knees in 2006. They have contributed nothing to the National team and have done their utmost to ruin the careers of many players including Pirlo, Cannavaro and Seedorf. They had their wonderful success when they had crippled the other teams and stolen all of the Juve players. And then just to finish it all off they hired one of the most unpleasant charachters in football (Mourinho). Nothing to be proud of.
on the 7th August, 2013 at 8:51am
@Greasman. Inter did not do a Treble, they did a Quintuple (5 trophies in 2010) that is the Italian record, and during their 5-6 year trophy laden era they broke many Italian and European records like most consecutive league wins (17) most point (97) most goals (103) it hillarious how Conte trys to insinuate Juve are at Inter 2010's level and how they won't make the mistake to not build, win 20 trophies over the next 5 years then talk of building lol
on the 7th August, 2013 at 1:06am
One word for the Inter haters: Treble. Oh and a sentence for them as well: Never been relegated from Serie A :)
on the 6th August, 2013 at 7:56pm
It's a positive buy for me. For some reason Milan's always in talks for forwards or attacking mids. Since losing Nesta and Thiago Silva, defense has been their weakest position. They're fine on the outside, but their CB are extremely lacking. If I were in control, I wouldn't stop here. Ditch Honda, and get a center back already.
on the 6th August, 2013 at 7:12pm
A gamble?

you mean a flop, as flops as the rest of their defenders.
on the 6th August, 2013 at 5:51pm
Sounds like a deal Marotta would approve, well for the price, maybe Zoli can shed some light on this matter while I picture BOSS with a huge smirk on his face...
on the 6th August, 2013 at 5:33pm
Just an FYI, Sivestre makes 1.5 mill a year *HOWEVER* for every dollar a player makes it costs the team an extra dollar in taxes so he costs AC Milan 3 million per year.
on the 6th August, 2013 at 5:33pm
HAHA the writer of this article must be a Milan fan it is blatantly obvious to see Silvestre is useless in fact a liability. Did you see Torres fall over the ball and still get up and dribble past him? Lmao Always pro Juve and Milan articles at any opportunity never a good word for Inter, same old Italian prejudice once Thohir takes over things should begin to change as the Italian FA, Media, opponents and fans will all see Inter in an international light instead of the Moratti owned 'enemy'
on the 6th August, 2013 at 4:41pm
Love the bitterness from inter fans. Enjoy being below mediocre once again.
on the 6th August, 2013 at 4:02pm

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