To prolong his career, Sylvain Distin should make the move back to France this summer.
Sylvain Distin has endured a frustrating season at Everton, which led to the centre-back commenting on his lack of first-team football this season. It was understandable from the player, but a justifiable move from Everton when taking into account the emergence of John Stones.
If the veteran defender wants to extend his career beyond this season, a move to the French first division may be the ideal destination.
At 37 years old, Distin needs to understand that it is difficult for the Merseyside club to guarantee him football, but it would have left them short if they had accepted a January offer from West Ham United – per the Daily Mail.
Distin spoke to French newspaper L’Equipe last week to get the situation off his chest.
"I went to see the coach about the proposal for West Ham who were offering me a transfer until the end of the season," Distin said.
"The next day, he said that he counted on me and that I was part of the team. Since that day I haven't been called up once. I have no idea why. We have not spoken since."
Everton are unlikely to offer him a new deal, and he may find a top-flight contract in England hard to come by. The Frenchman should look to his homeland for inspiration of other players that are still going strong.
Montpellier’s Vitorino Hilton was suspended for their trip to RC Lens at the weekend, and it was the first minutes of the season that the 38-year-old Brazilian has missed.
He is an example – along with the likes of Souleymane Diawara (36) and Cedric Barbosa (39) - that well-conditioned athletes can continue to play football in France. It’s not because the quality of the league isn’t as good, it’s down to the style of football.
Ligue 1 is not as frantic, not as fast paced. Defenders are able to play the ball around at the back and not face constant pressure.
Thirteen years have passed since Distin last played in France. His career at Paris Saint-Germain was short lived before moving on to Newcastle United. It would be great for Ligue 1 and for Distin himself to see the legendary defender line-up up in his homeland once again.