It’s looking more and more unlikely that Rafa Silva will still be a Benfica player after January.
The so-called Portuguese Eden Hazard became the Primeira Liga champions’ second most expensive player of all time when he moved from SC Braga for around £14.5 million in the summer of 2016, per the Times of India.
But Silva has been unable to show the kind of form that saw him emerge as one of Iberian football’s most exciting talents since moving to the Estadio da Luz.
A quick and incisive attacking midfielder, the 24-year-old only scored two goals and produced four assists in 20 league games as Benfica romped to the title last season. And in the early months of 2017/18, Silva has been omitted from the matchday squad on a number of occasions as his stock continues to plummet.
He was nowhere to be seen as Benfica thrashed Estoril 6-0 on Sunday.
A January move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, then, appears to be very much on the cards. Record claimed earlier this month that Benfica could let the playmaker leave either on loan or on permanent deal in the New Year with Wolves talked up as a possible destination.
Silva is not a client of Jorge Mendes but it is understood that Wolves’ good relationship with Benfica, from whom the Championship leaders have signed a number of players including Helder Costa, could grease the wheels of a potential deal.
And if Silva can replicate the form that encouraged Benfica to splash out £14.5 million only a year-and-a-half ago, the insomnia will surely be setting in for Championship defenders.