John Richards: Wolves have shown their intent with £35m Fabio Silva deal
Club great John Richards insists Wolves have sent out a ‘fantastic signal’ after smashing their transfer record with the £35million signing of Fabio Silva.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side snapped up the 18-year-old striker from Porto, and he could make his debut against Stoke in the Carabao Cup at Molineux tonight (7pm).
They have also brought in versatile defender Fernando Marcal from Olympique Lyonnais and creative midfielder Vitinha, also from Porto.
And ‘King John’ – a two-time League Cup-winner with Wolves – said: “I think it sends out a fantastic signal.
“It sends out a signal to the fans – showing the club’s ambition and how they are prepared to invest in players – and a strong signal to other teams that Wolves mean business.
“It really puts us as a team and a club, up with those in the top six.
“Wolves are now able to spend that sort of money to develop the team.
“It’s fantastic. When you have Silva’s purchase after Raul Jimenez’s last year, there are two players well over the £30m mark. It speaks volumes.
“It’s a lot money for an 18-year-old, but you’ve got to look at it a bit further than that – the club are getting the backing from Fosun. Jeff Shi is leading the way with things like this and the ambition is as good as you’re likely to see anywhere in the country.”
Silva’s capture, although more than £9m of the £35m fee is said to have gone to agents, saw Wolves set a new transfer record for the sixth time under Fosun.
Richards is also happy to see Marcal, having helped Lyon get to the Champions League semi-finals recently, come in and add valuable experience to the side.
Vitinha, meanwhile, has arrived on a season-long loan with the option to make it a permanent deal for around £18m next summer.
On if they are statement signings, Richards added: “Very much so.
“Wolves have shown they mean business and aren’t content to sit just outside the top six.
“They want to break into the top six and then become regulars in the Champions League.
“With Marcal, they’re being sensible and bringing someone in who has that flexibility and experience.
“You can’t have all youngsters, or have too many old players.
“You’ve got to have that nice balance – I don’t think you could have a better balance at the moment.
“It is a gamble on an 18-year-old, but it would be a gamble on anyone.
“You’ve got to give them credit for making that decision.
“They’ve obviously watched this lad for a long time.
“ He’s Portuguese, so he should settle in very nicely and very quickly.
“Credit to the staff who’ve been keeping an eye on players like this.
“And he’s going to be playing with Jimenez.
“It’s a dream pairing, having Jimenez to learn from.
“I think it’s a fantastic, ambitious move. I can’t wait to see him play.”