When Silvio Proto left Anderlecht last year after 11 seasons and almost 400 games, the smart money was on Mile Svilar to be his successor and to eventually put ‘a lot’ of euros into the club’s coffers. It won’t happen now as he looks to be heading for Benfica.
The son of former Yugoslavia and Royal Antwerp keeper, Ratko Svilar, the youngster, who’ll be 18 soon, has been a regular for Anderlecht in the UEFA Youth League and has represented Belgium at all levels up to the U19s.
To keep Team Svilar happy, Anderlecht’s Operations Manager Herman Van Holsbeeck told them that Svilar Junior would get first team opportunities in the 2017-18 season. That won’t happen and he’s on his way.
The problems started when new Anderlecht coach René Weiler entered the scene. Weiler had a look at Davy Roef – Proto’s replacement – and decided he didn’t like what he saw.
By November, Weiler had dropped Roef and called up journeyman keeper Frank Boeckx, who had once planned to buy a camper van and drive around the world. Weiler put Boeckx in the nets for a Europa League game and he stayed there for the rest of the season in the Anderlecht title-winning side.
But Boeckx needed a back operation in the summer and Weiler was still not ready to put Roef under pressure in the first team and he didn’t see Svilar as a number one.
Weiler’s answer was to bring in Matz Sels on loan for a season from Newcastle United. Sels had been elected Best Goalkeeper in Belgium in 2015 but his move to England had not worked out.
At the same time, Weiler has begun to be impressed by Roef’s improved attitude and maturity, and made him number two keeper when the season started. But Boeckx is now back and Roef has been loaned out to Waasland-Beveren.
Team Svilar think Mile will be a top keeper one day. They have seen Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma receive the number one spot and a mouth-watering salary. Donnarumma is only six months older than Svilar and I’m sure Team Svilar would bracket the two players together.
Negotiations between the Svilars and Anderlecht have broken down. He’s on his way out of Anderlecht and that’s sad for the club who invested time and money in him. Hopefully they can get a slice of ant sell-on fee.
Personally I feel Svilar should stay at Anderlecht and fight for his place.