January 24, 2013
Everton have announced that French defender Sylvain Distin has extended his existing contract by a year, keeping him on Merseyside until the Summer of 2014.
That’s absolutely the right decision.
There had been some reports of hesitancy on Everton’s part, primarily because Distin is 35 years-old and obviously approaching the end of his career.
What you have to look at in this situation, is the level at which the player is performing, and that the Distin/Jagielka axis at the heart of the Everton defence is one of the best pairings in the league. Additionally, what would it cost to replace him? Sure, Everton are going to have to think about that eventually, and will need to bring a long-term successor to the club in the future, but there’s no need to do it now.
At the moment, in spite of his age, Distin still averages more defensive clearances per game than any other Everton player (8.9) – that’s hard to ignore, regardless of age.
If there was an obvious replacement for Distin, or Everton had an outstanding prospect coming through in his position, then maybe that might warrant a different decision, but a one-year deal for a player who is still amongst the league’s elite defenders? No-brainer.