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Wolverhampton Wanderers remain interested in bringing AC Milan striker Andre Silva to Molineux this summer. However, they face stiff competition from both Valencia and Monaco.
Silva has been looking for a way out of San Siro for a while now, and Wolves were linked with a move for the Portuguese international back in January. Eventually, they signed the young Rafa Mir as back-up to the on-loan Leo Bonatini and a move for Silva did not develop.
The 22-year-old former Porto man has tons of potential but has failed to score in 18 domestic appearances in Italy this season, a stat which would not fill Wolves fans with excitement. That said, a closer look reveals something very different.
The £34m-rated star has only been afforded 6 starts across the Coppa Italia and Seria A for Milan, playing a grand total of 656 minutes in the league. Furthermore, when playing in Europe this term, he has hit 6 goals in 7 starts while picking up two Man of the Match awards. In addition to that, he averages 2.4 shots per game.
Silva is clearly capable and has simply not been suited to domestic life in Italy thus far. A move like this would surely suit all parties given that Milan are clearly happy to let the boy go. Meanwhile, Silva wants to prove he is not a flop and Wolves need to improve and strengthen their squad as they move up to Premier League level.
Having achieved what he has with Portugal (11 goals in 18 games) and in the Europa League this season, we know Silva has a great chance of succeeding in the Premier League.
Current incumbent Leo Bonatini would be more of a risk. The Brazilian is only on loan and after a great start to life at Molineux, goals rather dried up now. To not be scoring goals in the Championship means, despite his potential, he may not be risked by Nuno Santo after promotion. Moreover, with Rafa Mir at the club to learn his trade, he may not even be used as a back-up.
Bonatini fits Santo’s profile of being Portuguese-speaking, which is something he has a core of in his squad. That helps with integration and so, effectively, Andre Silva is simply a better version of Bonatini.
There’s no coincidence that in Ruddy, Bennett, Batth, Coady, Doherty and Douglas Wolves have a solid band of English-speaking defenders who know exactly how to work together and their forward line is no different, other than the language they all use.
Helder Costa, Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavaleiro and Leo Bonatini all speak Portuguese as a first language and with at least three of those players going nowhere this summer, it may be wise to add another native speaker to the rota.