Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Fabio Silva got on the scoresheet for the U23s in their loss to Sunderland last night.
The highly-rated youngster made his first appearance for the youth side in almost a year, as Wolves lost 3-1 to the Black Cats.
Minutes have come hard to come by for Silva under new boss Bruno Lage. Although, minutes for the youth side will keep him fresh, a lack of senior football may not be what is best for Silva’s development.
Therefore, Lage may have to make a decision by January whether he plans on keeping Silva in and around the first team or whether he should be sent out on loan.
Below is an argument for each.
The case to loan Fabio Silva
The main obstacle to Silva getting minutes so-far is the return of the club’s number nine Raul Jimenez.
After returning from his fractured skull, Fabio Silva has only started games in the Carabao Cup this season. In last week’s cup defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, he was substituted at half-time.
With that in mind and Jimenez getting back on the scoresheet, it is unlikely that Silva’s minutes are going to massively increase.
Another obstacle for Silva is the signing of new signing Hwang Hee-chan. The South Korean international scored on his debut for the club and started in Sunday’s victory.
Hwang is much faster than Silva or Jimenez, who are more similar in profiles. This means that Lage might be more likely to play Hwang with Jimenez as opposed to Silva.
Despite his young age, after arriving for £36 million, Silva clearly has a lot of potential and could really benefit from a loan at a lower-level where he can score some goals.
Why Silva may stay?
On top of his price tag, Silva’s footballing ability indicates that even at this fledgling stage of his career he is a very valuable asset to Wolves.
Last season, aged just 18 he recorded four goals and three assists in 11 starts in the Premier League.
With more gametime, it is very possible that he could add to his numbers. Especially, working with Luis Nascimento, Lage’s assistant who Silva has described as the best coach he has worked with.
Additionally, Lage expressed in last week’s press conference that Wolves may still play with two strikers in the future. Even if Silva does not start, it should result in more minutes for him.
There is a long way to go until this issue needs to be resolved. However, Silva will want senior goals to add to his U23 strikes.