There appeared to be no winners when Portuguese midfielder Adrien Silva’s move from Sporting Lisbon to Leicester City was registered at 1.01am on 1 October 2017. Footballing authorities refused to sanction the move having been completed seconds after the official transfer deadline, meaning both clubs were denied use of an influential playmaker for three months – and the player himself was cast into footballing limbo until 1st January 2018.
Except there were a handful of winners in the digital realm. Specifically, those savvy enough to pick up Silva’s FIFA 18 (opens in new tab) card.
While the game itself wasn’t released until 29 September, its web app (opens in new tab) emerged a fortnight beforehand – with Silva still available as a Lisbon player. Days later all summer transfers were updated, and as a result of his collapsed move Silva became unavailable in packs. Suddenly, a select few early birds were in possession of an extinct card, which would surely rise in value during that player’s three months out of football.
I know this because I was one of those early birds.
Every year during FUT’s fledging weeks I try to pick up as many rare gold players as I can for discard value (650 coins) or as close to that value as possible, just in case they see a spike in price thanks to Youtuber hype or Squad Building Challenge necessity. (As has happened to these 11 silver cards (opens in new tab).) Adrien Silva cost me 750 coins, which seemed a sound investment at the time.
How sound? This week I finally decided to sell him on, and he went for 97,500 coins. That’s a profit of 96,750. Ridiculous.
I recommend every FIFA player who accessed the app pre-release checks within their club to see whether there’s a Silva stashed away there. With six weeks until he can play again, there’s a strong chance his maximum price – currently set at 100,000 coins – rises at least once more, opening the door to even bigger profits than I made. You can keep track of his potential price rise via the excellent Futbin. (opens in new tab)
The inevitable question many will ask now: was Silva lightning in a 750-coin bottle, or could this occur again? Well, yes. In early November, French full-back Patrice Evra was sacked by Marseille and banned for seven months for kicking one of his own fans. For now he’s still in packs, but EA is expected to remove him shortly given that he, like Silva, is currently ineligible to play pro football.
If and when that happens his in-game price will gradually rise as more and more Evra cards disappear off the market through Squad Building Challenges. If you can nab a few Evras for under 1000 coins each, they’re worth sitting on until early 2018.
And if they sell at a hefty profit, as expected, it’ll be proof that Evra-y cloud has a Silva lining.
FIFA 18 is out now. Need more hot tips for the transfer market? Then check out our guide to making millions through silver packs and SBCs (opens in new tab).