Nine goals in 25 La Liga games
That is a very sad statistic for any player, and even more so for an attacker. Such a figure usually means that the player hasn’t been up to too much; not making things happen and rather waiting for someone to help him than helping himself. Unless this player is a legendary forward or a defensive player who only cares about tackles, it’s very likely that something somewhere has affected his game, especially considering the start he had.
In Spain, several players have come to light since the beginning of the season. The most striking example is undoubtedly that of André Silva. The Portuguese forward experienced a chaotic spell last year with AC Milan (two goals in 24 Serie A appearances).
Loaned to Sevilla FC, he was in full confidence and walked on water this season with Pablo Machin. In December, in 23 matches, he has already found the net nine times. He did better than the two Rossoneri goalscorers Patrick Cutrone (19 matches, 7 goals) and Gonzalo Higuain (17 matches, 7 goals) at the same time. But things have changed since this winter.
The first above mentioned statistic is his work; in addition, the forward has never completed an assist this season whereas his teammate Ben Yedder assisted six times. Silva came out in the 62nd minute, apparently injured. Andre Silva produced an abysmal performance, and we did not hesitate to let him know. His start last Sunday vs Espanyol (1-0) was a surprise:
Andre Silva had not started a game for the Sevillan club since March 2 vs SD Huesca, a game they lost 2-1. And then he lost his place in the starting eleven. Zero minutes vs Slavia Prague in the first leg, 19 minutes in the victory vs Real Sociedad (5-2) and forty minutes against Slavia Prague in the second leg, in a fatal 4-3 defeat. With the arrival of Joaquin Caparros at the club, he regained minutes as he started alongside Wissam Ben Yedder, he drew a penalty after a foul committed by Mario Hermoso.
Silva is still a regular call up for Portugal. He scored three times in his four UEFA Nations League appearances. He even scored against Italy (1-0), however, we have to mention that these fixtures had been playing when Andre Silva was at his peak in Andalusia. He has as competition for his role the likes of Goncalo Guedes, who Fernando Santos used as a forward in his 4-4-2 during the World Cup; Cristiano Ronaldo and the exciting Joao Felix.
Two seasons ago, no one would have foreseen such a state of affairs, so marvellous was Silva’s early talent and high performance. Even if he didn’t win any major titles, he was a key player at FC Porto.
In an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport, André Silva spoke about his future. The player who is regaining playing time in Sevilla, where he is the holder alongside Wissam Ben Yedder, has made it clear that the important thing for him remains to have playing time.
If I had to choose, I would go to the best team in the world. If you’re asking me to choose between being in Seville or coming back to Milan not to play, my preference is obvious. But I’m in the middle of two situations: I’m in Sevilla and I’m a Milan player, so I don’t think about that, otherwise, it would distract me. What I want is to play,” the Portuguese said.
Why this decline is occurring?
Firstly, when Sevilla struggled in the league, Pablo Machin changed his system, he dropped his 3-5-2 for a more vertical team 4-2-3-1 as he did versus Barcelona. The young coach didn’t want to risk anymore with a midfield trio composed of Banega-Sarabi-Vazquez, that’s why Amadou played recently more than he did in the first part of the season. The sacrificed was Andre Silva. We also have to note that, this system allowed the most prolific French striker in Spain to play as lone striker, Wissam Ben Yedder enjoyed in this system as he scored ten goals in ten matches. The reason for this choice was evident; Wissam has the ability to play between the lines, and his short centre of gravity allows him greater movement and combination with the offensive midfielders.
In NBA, analysts talk about the “franchise player”. This expression is more particular for a star. As an example, Tony Parker was a star at San Antonio Spurs but he was never the franchise player (a role occupied by Tim Duncan). In Sevilla, Jesus Navas is the franchise player: born in Seville, playing for the team when he was young, transferred and returned to the club, while the star is Wissam Ben Yedder instead of Silva.
In FC Porto and Portugal (the time Cristiano was absent) he was the franchise player and the star, he was the one who the offensive midfielders looked for. And his abilities demonstrated that when he didn’t score with the FC Porto B team he relieved himself as a good passer. Some Portuguese journalists compared him to Deco, but his coaches in Segunda division wanted him as forward.
And other stories mingled with the development of Silva. Andre Silva always felt like the scapegoat, the unloved. And maybe no one ever really understood him, or maybe he never understood himself. Porto sold him because of his fee (38 million). Sportingly, he often experienced stockings, like his time at AC Milan, where he scored only two goals and distinguished himself by his haircuts. When he was on the front page of the tabloids or people magazines, the others scored goals. Gattuso didn’t miss his chance to point it out.
We all know what he can provide because the Selecao‘s number nine has talent and technique but, at the same time, he has to improve a lot particularly it has been observed that the biggest problem of the Portuguese was not being able to adapt to the Italian climate and to the way of life. Will he make the same excuse for Spain? It must be added that he spends a lot of time on the social networks and on the seafront. while Cristiano, at his 34 years old, spends hours at the Juventus training camp.
Andre Silva is 23 years old, and he’s nowhere near what he should have been. It is never too late to improve, to raise the bar. However, from what we saw vs Ukraine, things are not looking good. Fortunately, the chance could come with the interim coach, Joaquin Caparros. The Spaniard uses a flat 4-4-2 shape, it could give him the booster to find the net once again.