Despite a strong starting line-up from Bruno Lage, Wolverhampton Wanderers were knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of fellow Premier League outfit Norwich City as the Canaries won 1-0 at Molineux.
The only change the manager made from the 2-1 Premier League victory at Brentford last time out was in between the sticks as John Ruddy replaced Jose Sa, with the boss once again putting faith in Fabio Silva.
The 19-year-old striker has been subject to criticism from sections of the Wolves fanbase since his £35.6m move from Porto in 2020, having made little impact to support the hefty price tag, and once again he struggled today.
With first-choice striker Raul Jimenez only making the trip home from international duty with Mexico days before the cup tie, Lage decided against fielding the 30-year-old and instead put his faith in Silva, who had also started against Brentford. Unfortunately, it was another opportunity which went begging for the youngster.
Having not scored yet this season, Saturday’s cup tie was a good opportunity for the 19-year-old to restore some confidence by netting against Premier League strugglers Norwich.
However, the striker only managed two shots, one blocked and one off target, according to SofaScore. Moreover, the £37k-per week forward only attempted 12 passes, completing seven – which amounted to a 58% passing accuracy – and he won just three of his 14 duels.
However, the most disappointing statistic will have been the frequency of losing possession, along with the lack of touches. The Portuguese youngster only touched the ball 23 times but lost the ball on 12 occasions, losing it once with every 1.9 touches.
That position may be an area that Lage will want to address in the summer transfer window, but in Silva there certainly would have been hope that he would prove to be a natural successor to Jimenez when the 19-year-old was signed. Wolves are yet to see evidence of that, and his insipid performance today cost his team a shot at FA Cup glory in 2022.