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Wolves transfers: Fosun’s record-breaking transfer market history

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

Wolves have bolstered their attacking ranks by bringing in Portuguese wonderkid Fabio Silva for a whopping £35million.

Some of Wolves' record buys (AMA)

His arrival means Fosun have now smashed the club's transfer record six times since taking over at Molineux in 2016.

And here, Joe Edwards takes a look at each of those big-money buys.

Ivan Cavaleiro – £7m from Monaco, August 2016

New signing Ivan Cavaleiro of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA)

Having completed their £30m takeover in July 2016, Fosun did not take long to outline their ambitions.

Cavaleiro came in from Monaco – breaking the previous record of £6.5m, jointly held by the captures of striker Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher in 2009 and 2010 respectively – on a bumper five-year contract.

And while he did not have a barn-storming first season, the winger ended up playing a significant role in promotion to the Premier League under Nuno Espirito Santo the following year.

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Cavaleiro came up with nine goals and 12 assists in that triumphant term before playing fewer games in the top flight.

The Portuguese ended up being sold to Fulham in January for around £15m, with Wolves then receiving a promotion bonus of around £5m from the Cottagers earlier this summer. So, they almost tripled their money.

A fine contribution on the way back to the top flight from the player and, ultimately, a sound piece of business by Wolves.

Helder Costa – £13m from Benfica, January 2017

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Wolverhampton Wanderers sign Helder Costa on a 4 year and half year contract. (AMA)

The indisputable shining light of Fosun's first year at the helm was Costa.

Initially signed on loan, his dazzling skills set the Championship alight and midway through the season, Wolves shelled out almost double than what they did for Cavaleiro to get him in on a permanent basis.

Featuring in a memorable FA Cup win at Liverpool along the way, Costa swept up at the end-of-season awards – winning supporters' player, players' player and goal of the season.

After an ankle injury, he was never able to reach such dizzy heights again at Wolves, but he still firmly did his bit.

And having also been sold for a profit, with a promotion bonus coming in on top from Leeds as well, it is another move that worked.

Ruben Neves – £15m from Porto, July 2017

New signing Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA)

This is where Fosun really started to push the boat out in their quest to make Wolves a proper force.

Having appointed Nuno as boss at the end of May, Neves joined a couple of months later and simply blew supporters away.

The midfield magician was an utter joy to watch in his first season – the breath-taking volley at Derby topping the long list of highlights – and has continued to shine in old gold.

Neves has come up with many moments of pure artistry, from stunning long-range strikes to pinpoint crossfield passes.

His off-the-ball work has improved drastically over the past year as well – £15m was an absolute snip.

Adama Traore – £18m from Middlesbrough, August 2018

Adama Traore (AMA)

The speedy Spaniard is another one that you can now consider to be well worth the money.

That has not always been the case, though. His first season at Wolves never got going – only one goal and an overall lack of productiveness in the final third.

But 2019/20 saw him make an incredible turnaround. Traore is now one of the most feared attackers in the Premier League, and the most potent dribbler anywhere in Europe.

When he is at full flow, there is just no way of stopping him – other than cynically hacking him down, if you are lucky enough to catch him.

A patient approach with the former Barcelona youth product has paid dividends.

Raul Jimenez – £32m from Benfica, April 2019

Raul Jimenez at Wolves training ground after signing for a record amount at the club..

Another success story amid Wolves' loan-to-buy approach, Jimenez has proven himself to be one of the best strikers the top flight has to offer.

He scored a fantastic 27 goals in 55 games last season. The Mexican is Wolves' talisman, no doubt about it.

After a mightily impressive spell while on loan from Benfica, the club announced – a while ahead of the transfer window – they were activating the option to sign him permanently for £32m.

And, again, it has turned out to be a shrewd piece of business. What a player.

Fabio Silva – £35m from Porto, September 2020

Wolves' record buy Fabio Silva with chairman Jeff Shi (Photo: Wolves)

Well, the 18-year-old is yet to kick a ball in anger, but hopefully he will be another success story.

Yes, it is a lot of money for someone so inexperienced, but all of Wolves' previous record buys under Fosun – albeit some to a larger extent than others – have worked.

Silva has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo in the past and the club feel he could be a generational talent.

With Jimenez to learn from while being given excellent, thorough coaching by Nuno, he has the potential to be top-drawer.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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