Not since Daniel Cousin have Rangers actually had a unit up top, and that’s going back 16 years.
Not since around 2007 have Rangers been able to call upon a reliable target man, a top-range aerial dominator who was handy on the deck while dominating the defenders.
Cousin was fantastic at this – his performance in Lyon being one of the most seminal attacking lone striker examples in our shirt for decades, while he managed a staggering shift in the home match v Barca which Messi bitterly and infamously called ‘anti-football’.
That’s what a strong, powerful and composed player of that mould up top can do.
True, such attackers are a rarer breed these days – Eden Dzeko is one of the last of a dying breed of powerful and big aerial threats up top who is about physique and presence and can soak up crosses and high balls and bang the goals in.
Erling Haaland is probably the world’s best at it nowadays, but he has tonnes more to his game and is a genuine phenomenon.
Fabio Silva, obviously, isn’t in the same league as any of the three mentioned – he’s struggled at every side he’s been at, and been weighed down by the-then record fee of £35M Wolves paid for the potential of him, just like Man Utd did with their £20M for then-Atalanta winger Amad Diallo.
Silva is not a truly coveted talent – failing to really thrive under 4 clubs, 4 leagues, and 12 managers before Philippe Clement. The only one he shone for was Porto youth boss Mário Silva, and since then he just hasn’t cemented his place in football.
We’re just being honest about the boy’s past, like we didn’t with Sam Lammers or Abdallah Sima we’re not going to dress it up. We’re offering the facts, both positive and negative and it’s up to the player to prove us wrong, or sadly right. Lammers was the latter, and Sima, thankfully, under Clement, seems to be the former.
But the point of this piece was that his style is much more of that unit up top, that solid outfit looking to muscle his way in, physical, strong, and holding up play with his back to goal.
This is very much Cousin, or even earlier, a spot of the Mikey Mols.
If Silva can be even half of either of these players for Rangers it’s a marvellous and shrewd signing.
We just hope Clement can get things from the boy 12 other men could not.