Wolverhampton Wanderers sealed a Premier League double over West Midlands rivals Aston Villa with a 2-1 win this afternoon.
The win cements bragging rights for the Molineux faithful in his particular rivalry and moves the Old Gold up to seventh place overnight.
Bruno Lage will be impressed with his side after they bounced back from the disappointing 3-2 defeat against Leeds United just before the international break, with Jonny Otto opening the scoring and an Ashley Young own goal ultimately giving Wolves the three points.
Although the victory means that they have now won three of their last four games, questions over why 19-year-old Fabio Silva has not featured more this season may become pertinent.
At such a young age, the Portuguese starlet has “enormous potential” according to Daily Mail senior sports reporter Ollie Lewis, and although his underlying stats do not flatter him, he put in a spectacular performance for Wolves this afternoon.
Whilst his hold-up play demonstrated maturity and his physicality caused issues among the Villa defence, Silva’s ability to create space for team-mates was reminiscent of an old-fashioned centre-forward from yesteryear, as he grafted throughout a display which more than repaid Bruno Lage’s faith in him in what was just his third Premier League start this season.
The former Porto prospect has struggled to get to grips with the English game, and those who solely rely on statistics would have believed that the 19-year-old capitulated today. Although the young striker had fewer touches than both goalkeepers and completed just 12 passes, the fewest of any Wolves starter, it was a performance which could only be valued through the ‘eye test’.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for Birmingham Live, Alex Dicken awarded the teenager an eight, with the summary of: “Other than a first goal of the season, there wasn’t a great deal missing from Silva’s display. In just his third Premier League start of the season, Silva showed intelligence and awareness to get the better of Villa’s physically imposing defensive duo. The 19-year-old’s link up play with Trincao and Podence was very good.”
Nonetheless, Silva will have been questioning how his name evaded the scoresheet, with his two big chances providing an xG total of 0.50. Those kind of chances from that specific area of the pitch would certainly go in for him on another day.
At a time when Raul Jimenez is serving his initial two-match ban, the Portuguese youngster has just put in a performance which will surely put him in contention to achieve his first back-to-back Premier League starts under Lage this season when Wolves make the trip to Newcastle next Friday.