Thiago Silva to PSG: Top 5 Alternatives to AC Milan Defender

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 22, 2012

Thiago Silva to PSG: Top 5 Alternatives to AC Milan Defender

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    AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi recently rejected Paris Saint-Germain’s €46 million bid for Thiago Silva.

    Like Manchester City’s failed attempt to sign Kaká a few years ago, PSG were fooled by Berlusconi’s publicity stunt.

    Regarding the centre-back situation at PSG, Mamadou Sakho rested on his laurels, Zoumana Camara should only be a backup and Diego Lugano is a liability. Meanwhile, Alex and Milan Biševac are ordinary defenders. 

    PSG need a solid centre-back and here are the top five alternatives to Silva. 

5. Martin Škrtel, Liverpool, Age: 27

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    How does a bumbling and slow-footed Martin Škrtel turn into one of the best centre-backs in the league? 

    He was a commanding presence for the Reds last season as he played the best football of his life. 

    The transformation he underwent during the campaign was as unexpected as Yakubu scoring 17 league goals.

    However, after one excellent season, Škrtel has revealed his true colours by speaking out against the club, even though they kept persisting with him when his defending was as calamitous as Rigobert Song. 

4. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Montpellier, Age: 23

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    Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was a member of a back four that consisted of Garry Bocaly, Hilton and Henri Bedimo.

    Bocaly is a reliable right-back, Hilton is a member of the UNFP Team of the Season and Bedimo is arguably the best left-back in the league.

    Yanga-Mbiwa played with some impressive teammates, which allowed him to prosper into a solid centre-back. That being said, he isn't as dominant as Willy Boly. 

3. Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Werder Bremen, Age: 24

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    In 2011, Levante exercised their loan option to sign Manchester City forward Felipe Caicedo for €1 million, only to sell him a month later to Lokomotiv Moscow for €7.5 million. 

    Werder Bremen are in a similar situation with Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who was imperious on loan for the German club. According to, he was the sixth best defender in the Bundesliga. 

    Bremen recently signed him from Genoa for €5 million, but could sell him for upwards of €15-20 million, depending on his performances at Euro 2012

    In a 1-1 draw with Poland, he received an extremely harsh red card from card-happy referee Carlos Carballo. 

    In a pivotal game against Russia, Sokratis threw his body at every shot as the Greeks held onto a 1-0 win. 

2. Willy Boly, Auxerre, Age: 21

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    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, an explosive forward for Saint-Étienne, couldn't deal with Willy Boly's tight marking during their 0-0 draw this season.

    Boly heaped further misery upon Paris Saint-Germain's Kévin Gameiro, who didn't even register a shot during a 1-1 draw with Auxerre.

    If not for Boly, the French club would have been historically bad. 

1. Nicolas N'Koulou, Marseille, Age: 22

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    Nicolas N'Koulou is seemingly always in the right position to intercept a pass or to maneuver the forward away from goal.  

    Raphaël Varane does the same thing, but he's younger than N'Koulou, which is why the Real Madrid centre-back has a higher upside. 

    N'Koulou isn't a tank and doesn't run the 100ms in 11 seconds. Having said that, generally speaking, footballers with high football IQ will trump athletes masquerading as footballers.

    You only need to look at Andrea Barzagli, who relied on positioning and reading play, to become Serie A's best defender. 

    Please read EU2012 Top 10 Summer Transfer Targets