O’Neil could have options other than Silva in “sharp” 19 y/o

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Wolverhampton Wanderers had a trialling summer of business, with the majority of their transfer window overwhelmed by the club’s financial restrictions.

The departure of Julen Lopetegui as a result of such constraints left the Old Gold managerless just five days prior to their opening Premier League fixture, with Gary O’Neil arriving swiftly to restore the security.

Despite the woes regarding Financial Fair Play (FFP), Wolves still welcomed eight new arrivals, as well as bidding farewell to some familiar faces as 11 players left the club on a permanent basis.

Amid all the change surrounding the first team, the Midlands side’s academy remained strong, with a host of talent having the potential to find a way into the senior team as a result of some exits.

Who is Owen Farmer?

Named in The Guardian’s list of the ‘best talents at Premier League clubs’ back in 2021, 19-year-old Owen Farmer continues to impress within Wolves’ academy.

Deployed as a striker, the Solihull-born ace became a part of the Old Gold’s academy when he was 14, and has risen through the ranks since competing in both the Premier League 2 and U18 Premier League competitions.

The youngster’s biggest attribute is his quality in finishing, with academy coach and former senior interim coach Steve Davis praising the teen for scoring “poacher’s goals” when called upon.

Along with fellow academy sharp shooter Nathan Fraser, who is beginning to find a way in with the first team, O’Neil has two young forwards to consider for the future who have both displayed their ability at youth level.

What could Owen Farmer offer to O’Neil?

After losing the predatory presence of Raul Jimenez – who previously scored 30 league goals in his first two seasons in England – over the summer, O’Neil is short in the striker area, as highlighted by his deadline day attempts to sign Southampton’s Che Adams.

Lauded as being “sharp, bright, intelligent and can use both feet” by U21 coach James Collins, Farmer could be one to watch for the season ahead, as the new manager finds his feet and revises his best options going forward.

Collins tipped the youngster to have a “bright future”, with Wolves being a promising club to be at present, considering the side’s number one striker being just 21 himself.

Gary O'Neil watches on

Fabio Silva took on the number nine shirt this summer, suggesting how much faith is being placed in the rising talent’s ability to lead the line at Molineux.

This being said, the Portuguese gem is, as expected, taking time to adapt to the Premier League, after endeavoring on two separate loan spells last campaign to further his experience.

In four league appearances this season, the Portuguese forward is yet to score and has missed two big chances, amplifying that despite his placing in the pecking order, there is room for improvement going forward.

This is where Farmer could find a way into the side under O’Neil, with the teen already showing his strengths in front of goal by scoring once and assisting twice in four games played in the Premier League 2 so far.

The 19-year-old will be motivated by his academy partner’s debut in the first team, as Fraser scored and assisted in his first senior appearance in 2023/24 in the Carabao Cup last month.

Despite missing out on summer targets and losing Jimenez, O’Neil has some options to consider to compete with Silva, with Farmer having the potential to follow in Fraser’s footsteps and make a statement in the near future.