Now that is a haircut… | Octavio Passos/Getty Images
Fábio Silva has been announced as Wolves’ first signing of the window and surprise, surprise, once again Jorge Mendes’ fingerprints are all over the deal.
The 18-year-old adds to the already sizeable contingent of Portuguese players in the Wanderers squad but his hefty £35m price tag has raised more than a few eyebrows.
It seems a rather bewildering amount to spend on such an unproven quantity. Then again, Wolves have rarely made recruitment missteps over the past few seasons and Silva could easily become their latest success story.
I can confirm this will be a new record for the highest fee paid for a player I hadn’t heard ofhttps://t.co/YAcyL5OOIp
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) September 5, 2020
Who exactly is he though? Well, here’s everything you need to know about the latest addition to Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad.
Jorge Silva in action for Boavista back in his heyday | Gary M. Prior/Getty Images
Silva comes from one of Portugal’s most prolific footballing families. His father Jorge Silva was a defensive midfielder who enjoyed a long, fruitful career.
He helped Boavista win the Primeira Liga in 2001 – one of the biggest sporting shocks of the millennium – and was rewarded for his fine performances with a pair of international caps one year later.
Silva Snr. isn’t his only footballing family member. His brother, also called Jorge, is a centre back currently on Lazio’s books. The 21-year-old is yet to make a senior appearances for the Eagles, though he could end up facing his brother in the future, which is always fun to watch.
Silva celebrates his first senior goal | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
Starting his career at Porto as a youngster, Silva crossed the O Classico divide to join Benfica in 2015, before returning to his boyhood club just two years later.
His move back to Estádio do Dragao has been justified, with the striker breaking a long list of club records over the past few years.
He was handed his league debut on 10 August 2019 in a 2-1 loss to Gil Vicente. It may have only been a ten minute cameo but this brief appearance saw him overtake Bruno Gama as Porto’s youngest ever debutant.
Just a few weeks later he overtook now teammate Ruben Neves as the club’s youngest ever debutant in European competition, coming on in a Europa League tie against BSC Young Boys. He would also steal away Neves’ status as Porto’s youngest goalscorer and their youngest ever starter during an eventful 2019/20 campaign.
Silva has the potential to become one of the most prolific scorers in Europe | Gualter Fatia/Getty Images
The one senior strike that he has to his name so far does not tell the full story of Silva’s goalscoring potential.
During the 2018/19 season, the youngster hit 20 goals in 26 games for the club’s Under-19 side and he has also been prolific for the national team, scoring three times in five caps for Portugal Under-19s.
Standing at over six foot and being well built for his age, Silva has potential to work well as a lone striker, perhaps finally relieving some of the goalscoring burden off of Raul Jimenez at Molineux. Just don’t expect him to produce right away. He is only 18 after all.
Fábio Silva bags at least 30 goals a season in my Football Manager save with Salford. Safe to say he was pretty happy with that record when I told him pic.twitter.com/rr0T9ILcgq
— Jack Kenmare (@jackkenmare_) September 1, 2020
Here at 90min, we like Football Manager. In fact, we really, really like it. We even wrote about some of favourite ever virtual players a while back.
Anyone other fans of the greatest video game ever made are likely to have experienced a mild flicker of recognition when they sae Silva’s name pop up. That’s because he turns into a world beater within a few seasons.
He starts off with some incredible attributes, including 14 composure, 15 first touch, 15 technique and 14 dribbling, while he is also blessed with the resilient personality type, making it extremely easy for him to realise his sky high potential.
If Silva progresses to become anywhere close to the calibre of player Football Manager predicts, Wolves are going to be very happy.
Over the course of his fledgling career, Silva has already managed to build up a considerable following on Instagram – 161k followers to be precise.
Most of the content is your standard footballer nonsense. A picture of him playing here, a picture of him training there. Pretty boring to be honest.
However, the most recent offering represents a welcome change of scenery. In this particular image, Silva looks a bit like a dad on holiday, trying to relive his 1990s heyday. He is sporting some whiter than white trainers, a denim bucket hat and an intense scowl. Finally, a bit of personality. Welcome to the Premier League mate.