Fábio Silva: Why Wolves paid £35m for 18-year-old

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Fabio Silva has broken the Wolves transfer record after the Premier League club had to pay £35 million to Porto for the 18-year-old Portuguese forward.

Since July 1, 2019, Raul Jimenez has been Wolves’ transfer record signing after the club paid £30 million to Benfica. The 29-year-old Mexican forward joined the Premier League club on a permanent deal after he has initially spent a season at the club on loan from Benfica.

In his first full season at Wolves (2019-2020), Raul Jimenez was able to prove that he worth every penny the club paid to acquire his services by scoring 27 goals and providing 10 assists in 55 appearances for Wolves. At the end of the season, Jimenez won the club’s highest goalscorer award and player of the season.

Based on these stats, it became a shocker that Fabio Silva had to break Jimenez‘s one season old transfer record despite not being an established or proven striker even in Porto. Some football pundits have been insisting that it was not a wise investment if Fabio Silva is compared to the signings Wolves’ rivals in the league have been making since this summer transfer window.

Some critical fans of the club who were not too excited for the £35 million signings, argued that why should the club sell their 28-year-old Ireland right-back, Matt Doherty, to Tottenham Hotspur for just €16.80 million on 30 August 2020 while they went on to spend £35 million on Fabio Silva who has no track record.

The most annoying part for the critics of the deal has been the fact that Doherty played 50 matches for Wolves in the 2019-2020 season, scoring 7 goals and providing 5 assists in all competitions despite being a right-back.

While Fabio Silva was not able to establish himself at Porto as a wunderkind they said he is. The 18-year-old forward only played 21 matches in all competitions, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists in the 2019-2020 season for Porto before he left.

Why Wolves paid £35 Million for Fabio Silva

Fabio Silva
Fabio Silva

Immediately after Wolves were knocked out of the Europa League quarter-finals by Sevilla in August, the football manager of the club Nuno Espirito Santo urged the club’s board to improve his squad. Hence, when they announced a record signing, fans expected a more established name. Unfortunately, it was Fabio Silva, an 18-year-old starlet.

For a fact, the Portuguese youngster was a delight in the youth system of Benfica and has also had a wonderful time representing Portugal in age-grade football competitions, but he has not made any huge impression in senior team football.

So, Fabio Silva is just a player for the future and a player that was bought to serve as an undercover for Jimenez who is the club’s point man throughout last season.

Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said: “Our recruitment team have been watching Fabio since he played for Portugal under-16s and they feel he has always been the best number nine coming through his age group anywhere in Europe.

“Fabio is a young player who shows not only the incredible technical ability but also his game intelligence for a player of his age is top class.

“Fabio has the potential to be a generational talent and for us to see him develop under Nuno is very exciting. He is the type of player our fans will love.”

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