Wolverhampton Wanderers legend John Richards has come to the defence of Fabio Silva.

The 18-year-old has been thrust into the spotlight at Molineux this season following the head injury to Raul Jimenez, and struggled to flourish after his big-money move from FC Porto.

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There has been a lot of criticism for the youngster on social media, and last weekend the deal was questioned by former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp on Sky Sports.

The 73-year-old claimed that the Silva transfer had left the club ‘well short’ but 194-goal former striker Richards – who knows a thing or two about a slow start at Molineux as a youngster – has backed the starlet to come good.

He told the Express & Star: “I think he’s done very well in the circumstances. He’s still 18. I got into the team when I was 19, played three or four games, and then was back in the reserves the following season.

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“I was more on the bench, coming on occasionally, and learning. Then, the season after that was when it all clicked. I’d had the best part of 18 months, learning how to be a first-team player.

“Fabio has not had that time. He’s been thrust into it, but he’s a good player.”

Richards then added that he thinks Silva will make a greater impression next term.

Silva was always going to need time

People forget how little first-team football Silva actually played before making his move to Wolves.

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Now he’s here, he’s having to adapt to the rigours of English football, and deal with covering for one of the Premier League’s best all-round strikers in Jimenez. Or at least he had been before the arrival of Willian Jose.

He never chose his transfer fee, which is often the stick used to beat him with on social media.

The signs are there that he’ll develop into a capable top-flight striker, he just needs more experience and to bulk up a bit.

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