In his first piece as a contributor to PortugalFutbol, Daniel Martins takes a look at Joao Silva’s transfer from Bari to Palermo, and what the striker’s next steps may need to be.
Joao Silva completed his move from Bari to Palermo on the last day of the transfer window with no time to spare. 33 seconds past deadline cut off to be exact, which gave the initial confusion surrounding that the transfer fell through and for a few hours, after deadline day, he still remained a Bari player.
With great aerial ability and some clever finishing shown in some of his performances, the Rosanero showed how much they value this kid’s potential, as they appealed the decision, which they won, allowing him to complete his move. Joao Silva then officially signed a 3-year contract which saw him receive the number 10 jersey and Bari receiving 1 million euros in transfer fees.
At 24, it is now time for the former Everton and Vitoria Setubal striker to establish himself at a high level. This was something that he was never able to achieve as an Everton player as he never made a league debut only to be restricted to a few cup games for 1st team football. This was worrying at the time considering Everton’s injury crisis up front, which lead to the promotion of Greek youngster Apostolos Vellios and an eventual January signing of Nikica Jelavić.
On the other hand, Palermo’s striker transfer activity has recently seen the departure with Able Hernandez and Kyle Lafferty after a record-breaking campaign, which saw them reach promotion five days before the season finishing. This allows Joao Silva to slot into the void left by the departures and hopefully he can hit the ground running, but it’s not going to be easy.
First, it’s the Seria A, a tough league for strikers where only the great finishers of the game can shine. With tight physical defences and general spectacle of box-to-box football will certainly make or break Silva this season, something he didn’t have to come up against on a regular basis for Bari in Seria B where he managed 43 appearances and 8 goals.
Secondly, competition at Palermo will be fierce with the new signing of Simon Makienok after his impressive displays for Brondby and with Dybala already established in the first team. Dybala will defiantly be the undisputed started as the kid is immensely talented with comparison made with Sergio Aguero being made. Another competitor is Italian striker Andrea Belotti who managed 10 goals in their promotion to Seria A. Whether the Palermo manager, Giuseppe Iachini, will continue to use his favoured 3-5-2 formation waits to be seen, however this will allow a spot for someone to partner Dybala upfront.
Thirdly, the mad man that is president Maurizio Zamparini, meaning that Joao Silvas development and consistency will be even more difficult with the continuous coaching change (it’s a guarantee with Zamparini’s record: 28 managers in 11 years of his reign). Therefore Silva must use his moments off the bench or in the starting line-up to justify his worth to the chairman and save the Sicilian club from relegation.
Joao Silva future is in his hands now with his latest transfer and hopefully he can prove to the Portuguese people that not all Portuguese strikers are incompatible. What a great opportunity to showcase his talent and maybe, just maybe, be able to impress the new Selecao coach.