Wolverhampton Wanderers were dealt another blow in their quest for European football as Bruno Lage’s side were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Friday night.
The visitors were by far inferior to their hosts, with Lage’s men recording just five shots all night, two of which were on target, compared to Newcastle’s 12 (four on target). On a personal level, it was another uneventful outing for 19-year-old striker Fabio Silva.
The Portuguese youngster is yet to score this season despite making 23 appearances across all competitions so far. Despite Raul Jimenez’s status as Wolves’ first-choice striker, opportunities certainly haven’t been scarce for Silva.
With the Mexican serving a three-match suspension for a red card picked up against Leeds prior to the international break, another chance for the 19-year-old to start has arisen, but once again it hasn’t been taken.
According to SofaScore, two of Wolves’ five shots came from the Portuguese teenager, with one on target as Wolves’ club-record signing played 90 minutes. Moreover, the youngster had just 27 touches all night, eight fewer than goalkeeper José Sá’s 35, whilst losing possession seven times.
While a 78% passing success rate is satisfactory, the striker attempted just 18 passes in his time on the pitch, completing 14.
There was little defensive contribution either as Silva lost 79% of his duels whilst also failing to make a single clearance, block, interception or tackle and being dribbled past twice.
The Fabio Silva puzzle is certainly one that both Lage and former Old Gold manager Nuno Espirito Santo have struggled to solve since the 19-year-old’s move from Porto in 2020 for a club-record £35.6m, with journalist Liam Keen labelling the striker a “hindrance” earlier this season.
Last season was an adequate maiden campaign in the English top flight as the youngster scored four goals and set up three in 32 league appearances. However, there have been few signs of progress since then.
Jimenez’s return from a nasty skull fracture has reduced opportunities for the 19-year-old but, in what has been a quiet campaign by the Mexican’s standards, Silva has failed to outshine the 30-year-old.
Does Silva have a future at Wolves?
There are no doubts regarding the youngster’s talent and potential, as otherwise Wolves wouldn’t have broken their record transfer fee to lure him to Molineux.
However, there is now a situation developing where the Portuguese marksman can’t be relied upon whenever Jimenez is unavailable. Given this predicament, Lage may well seek to bring in a new striker in the upcoming transfer window.