Scouting expert shares Fabio Silva dilemma at Wolves, calls for system change
We’re delighted to welcome Football Manager’s Wolves researcher Dave Azzopardi as our exclusive columnist. Each week the scouting expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…
Wolves have got a big dilemma when it comes to record signing Fabio Silva’s future and should consider changing their system to help him develop.
Silva joined the club from Porto in a club-record £35m deal in the summer of 2020 as a 17-year-old, but has so far managed to score just four Premier League goals in 54 appearances and failed to find the net at all in the 2021/22 season.
But Azzopardi believes that the system that his managers at club level have implemented since his move haven’t helped him and called for a switch to a two-striker formation to help get the best out of the teenager.
“I really like Fabio Silva and whenever I watch him you can tell he’s got the qualities of a very good footballer and I think that’s probably why Wolves did the deal they did,” he told The Football Wonderkids.
“My one concern with Fabio is obviously the game time issue. He’s not going to get consistent game time.
“I think it’s one of those situations where because he’s not getting consistent game time he’s not been able to show what he can do and that way he’s not going to break into the Wolves team.
“I think Wolves are cautious that if he gets loaned out, whether that’s in the Championship or abroad, if he gets loaned out and flops then you’ve got a situation on your hands where you’ve got a player with no confidence and a player who’s worth very little.
“So it’s a difficult situation but like I said whenever I watch him play he’s a player that works hard, wants to get on the ball, his hold up play is very, very good.
“But I think he’s been in a situation for the last two years at Wolves where we haven’t really got the ball in the box enough, and Fabio is a poacher. If he had clear cut chances he’d put the ball in the back of the net, we just haven’t had that this season.
“I want to see it [partnership with Jimenez], we haven’t seen it enough at Wolves. I think we saw them start together once at Burnley this season, but Jimenez played almost as a winger.
“I would like to see them as a two, with a bit more service but the issue as a two is that they’re almost too similar where one of them isn’t ultra quick. They’re not slow, but they’re not rapid strikers and I think in a two you need at least one of them to have that bit of pace for it to work.
“I don’t know, maybe we could see it in pre-season or going into the Premier League season but at the moment I can’t see it happening.“
Silva showed his qualities this week, scoring a hat-trick for the Portugal Under-21 national team in a 9-0 win against Liechtenstein.