Who is Fabio Silva? Here's what we know about striker joining Wolverhampton Wanderers after record $46M deal
Wolverhampton Wanderers set a club-record transfer fee to sign Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva from Porto, as reported by Reuters. Though the fee wasn’t disclosed for the 18-year-old Porto striker, who has signed a five-year contract, it was said that it was a club record. However, as per Reuters, media reports had indicated the fee was around 35 million pounds ($46.50 million). He made his first-team debut for Porto, his hometown club, in August 2019 as a 17-year-old.
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said Silva was a natural talent. He told the club’s website, reportedly, “We’ve been following Fabio’s development for a long time. He’s a player that you only need several minutes to see his natural football talent. In recent years, Fabio has been developing very fast and now has proven himself in Porto’s first team, which is a top squad. Our head coach’s requirement for quality is very high, but he thinks Fabio is an important signing who will help the team immediately this season.”
Who is Fabio Silva?
He began his career in the youth team at Porto in 2010. The striker, son of former Portugual international Jorge Silva, had featured for the first-team with Porto in pre-season and has got his name on the scoresheet. Something which will not have been a surprise to those who watched him for Porto's Under-19s. In 2015, he joined domestic rivals Benfica but two years later returned to Porto to continue his development, as reported by inews.co.uk. The report states that during the 2018-19 season, the footballer was dubbed as the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’.
“When Cristiano Ronaldo was 17 years old, he was a striker for Sporting's youth. I saw him do the same things that I'm now seeing from a kid in Porto's youth, Fábio Silva. In a few years he will be an extraordinary forward.” Such a statement came from Manuel Fernandes, scouting director at Sporting, one of Porto's great rivals and the club that produced CR7. As per Sky Sports, Silva lived up to his moniker by scoring 33 goals in 39 games to lead Porto's U19s to UEFA Youth League glory and Portugal's U19 Championship titles in 2019.
He made his Primeira Liga debut for Porto on August 2019 in a 2–1 loss at Gil Vicente. He played the final 11 minutes in place of Otavinho. At 17 years and 22 days, he became the youngest league player in the club's history, surpassing Bruno Gama. During the match against BSC Young Boys in the UEFA Europa League group stage, he became the club's youngest player in European competitions, beating Rúben Neves – his Wolves teammate. Silva scored his first goal to conclude a 5–0 win at neighboring S.C. Coimbrões in the third round of the Taça de Portugal. This goal helped him surpass Neves as the youngest goalscorer in the club's history. Again, he beat the same player's record as Porto's youngest league goalscorer in a 3–0 home win over F.C. Famalicão. During a 1–0 win at Boavista F.C. in the Derby da Invicta, he became the youngest starter in the club's history.
He had his first international experience with Portugal's under-15 team in 2017. Silva was part of the under-17 team which reached the quarter-finals of the 2019 UEFA European Championship in the Republic of Ireland. In October 2019, Silva scored a hat-trick for the under-19s in a 4–1 win over Italy in Bragança in a game of preparation for the Euro qualification, as reported by publico.pt.
In February 2020, the athlete was in Porto's reserve team in LigaPro, debuting as a starter in a 1–1 home draw with S.C. Farense, as one of three appearances at this level. He made two further appearances for Porto's first team following the re-start of the league after the coronavirus-enforced shutdown. The club won the Primeira Liga title.
After his first game for Wolves against Stoke City in the Carabao Cup on September 17, this year -- which they lost, coach Nuno Espírito Santo said, as reported by Birmingham Live, "Fabio had a couple of good moments as the striker in the box. Next time he needs to be more accurate and we will work on that."