We admit it, we didn’t know a lot about new Rangers signing Fabio Silva. He hasn’t quite lit up European football in the way his youth performances threatened to at Porto when he was starting out, with a bit of a flat spell at Wolves leading to some slightly underwhelming loans at both Anderlecht and PSV.
So we did genuinely wonder what it was Philippe Clement and Football Recruitment boss Nils Koppen saw in the boy, and dug around a bit, and some old scouting reports gave us our answer:
“A player with decent body mass ratio, physical strength, power, stamina and natural fitness who feels comfortable in contact situations, who’s capable of holding up the ball for teammates to provide them with assists when playing with his back to goal and knows how to use his body to shield the ball from defenders thanks to his technique, cleverness and ball control.”
This lad, going by that, is of the mould of a Daniel Cousin, a Diego Costa, and a taller, bigger and stronger Alfredo Morelos, and at 6ft 1 that’s certainly clear.
In short, he’s a big, bustling, up-for-it striker who has the tools to be the centre-forward Rangers have wanted, a hybrid of Morelos (physical) and fellow ex-Ger Antonio Colak (clinical).
The report goes on:
“He’s goal poacher but who’s able to act as a target man and also as an off-the-shoulder striker with very good agility, pace & coordination for a player of his size. He likes to shoot at every opportunity he gets and has a great sense of positioning while receiving through balls. He likes to try to beat the offside trap and generates many flick-ons and passes into the channels for his teammates to utilise and is extremely dangerous on the counter thanks to his pace and acceleration.”
In simple terms, like so many others, he has all the talents, qualities and attributes to make it to the top of the game, but his move to Wolves hasn’t worked for a number of reasons – some players are just not ready for the top level that the Premier League offers, and if we look at Joe Aribo, that’s a quintessential example.
We are, we admit, not blown away by signing a player who has struggled for so many years just like Sam Lammers, but Lammers’ injury in 2019 effectively killed his career and he’s been nowhere since, being 26 now – Silva just hasn’t quite found his calling yet and he’s only 21.
Wolves fans believe he has a tonne of potential, but simply hasn’t played enough at Molineux – it hasn’t quite clicked there for him.
He does have the traits, even if the move has a little bit of the Amad Diallos about it, so naturally we’re 1% concerned with the ‘unknown’ quantity of a player who hasn’t done it at many of his previous clubs.
But rather than Ross Wilson and Giovanni making the signing, this time it’s PC and Koppen who have brought the lad in, and Clement’s last fortnight and indeed start at Rangers has earned him a lot of trust already.
We wish him well, and he does tick all the theoretical boxes to make it in football; we hope Rangers is where his real career really gets going.