Fabio Silva needed a move this January, but with a variety of offers on the table, he also needed to choose the right one.

The 21-year-old Portuguese striker felt as though Rangers was the place to progress and a loan deal until the end of the season was subsequently wrapped up before the end of 2023. Signing on a six-month deal from Wolves, Silva’s conversations with Philippe Clement and the lure of the club saw him choose Ibrox over other moves across Europe.

Having already experienced Ibrox as an opponent with Porto in 2019 and joining a club who feel on the up under Clement, with the first silverware of the season already secured, time in La Manga at Rangers’ winter training camp should allow Silva to hit the ground running later this month. If this season is to be a true success, Clement will need Silva and any other January arrivals to adapt and make an impact quickly.

“Everyone knows I had chances to go to other clubs on loan. But I’m an ambitious player, I want to compete for titles and to win things. That is the goal for myself and that’s why I came to Rangers because it’s a big club, a historic club,” he says speaking for the first time since moving to Glasgow.

“I always like to go to a historic club that has good fans. I’ve already had the chance to play at the stadium and the atmosphere was amazing. When I spoke with my agent about Rangers my first decision was to come here.

“It was very nice for me to get some minutes [before the winter break in a 3-1 win over Kilmarnock]. Me and the coach had to decide if I was going to play or not because I’d only trained a little. But now this week in Spain will allow me to get to know my teammates and learn the dynamics of the team. The coach wanted to give me some minutes so I could feel the atmosphere in the stadium. It was nice, the result was good too and for me, it was really special to make my debut at our stadium.

“The memories for me when I visited with Porto? Not so good because we lost that game! I do remember that the environment at Ibrox was something special. When I found out that Rangers was an option for me, I told my family that when I played here with Porto, the atmosphere was crazy.”

Silva is now playing for the fifth club of his short career. He broke into the Porto team as a 17-year-old before a move to the Premier League as an 18-year-old. Still under contract at Wolves until 2026 the attacker’s long-term future remains uncertain. In choosing a move to Glasgow after promising loans with Anderlecht and PSV last season the role of Clement, and alignment in the pair’s footballing ideas, proved vital.

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“I’m a player who likes to feel the confidence from the staff and the players and, of course, the coach was really key in me coming here,” he adds.

“The conversation I had with him was very nice. It impressed me a lot the way he wanted me here in the team, the way he plays, the way he wants me to improve. So for me, this was very important. I had other options to go elsewhere but here, when I spoke with the coach and the other people around the club I felt a connection, something special which convinced me to move to Rangers.

“It surprised me because the manager already knew the type of football I like to play. He wanted me to come here to help him with something different, to bring different dynamics to the team.”

Silva, who moved to Wolves for over £35million in 2020, enjoyed an “amazing year” playing for Anderlecht in Belgium and PSV in the Netherlands before returning to Molineux this summer. Speaking from Rangers’ training base in La Manga on Friday, he does not come across as a man with a point to prove but instead a player motivated to make his mark and continue developing. It’s clear Silva is not focused on the perception of his spell at Wolves or the significant fee that’s hung over his head since the age of 18. Instead, the Portuguese Under-21 international speaks of learning from role models, the pleasure of playing for a historic club and trusting the process that’s taken him this far.

“I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I need to prove it to myself and that’s the most important thing every day,” he continues. “With all the clubs I’ve played for, I’ve tried to give my best. Last season was amazing for me in Belgium and Holland. The results are there, the numbers are there so everyone can see it.

“But I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. For me, the most important thing is to work every single day to be better than yesterday. Right now I want to enjoy being with the team here in Spain, to get the coach’s ideas into my head as quickly as possible to be prepared for the first game back in the Scottish Cup. These are the most important things for me and after that, the results will come naturally.”

Rangers needed, and still need, reinforcements in attacking areas this January. The money spent to reinvent the forward line last summer hasn’t produced the desired impact with Cyriel Dessers the sole attacking option at No.9 in December after Danilo suffered a knee injury against Hearts. Clement has already explained that his new arrival can operate in a variety of positions across the attack, but how does Silva view himself as a player?

“I am not a ‘really really No.9’ because I don’t like to be static in the box, I like to move and change positions with other players,” he continues, explaining a desire to be involved in the game and not only add the final touches.

“I don’t like to stay in the box only and be ‘No, No.9’. I like to change positions, have connections with players, play one-twos and move deep. I am a dynamic player and I like to change my position during the game.”

“He understands the story. We had a lot of talks before he came about football, about how I see players playing,” was Clement’s view speaking after the win against Kilmarnock. “We spoke about several positions, not only one, where he can play”.

Speaking after the first session of the day, before team building in the afternoon, there’s also time for Silva to discuss role models. Asking a 21-year-old footballer from Portugal who he looks up to? It’s nearly rhetorical.

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“Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo,” he smiles. It is the reason Silva will wear No.7 during his time in Glasgow.

“When I look at his games, the hunger he has to score is something special, for me it is the best example I can take.

“In football and in life if you stop or are not trying to be better than yesterday, with the quality of young players now, the other ones will go past you and you will stay behind. That’s why I use the Ronaldo example. He always tries to be the number one, to be better than yesterday. After that, things happen naturally. It’s the same for me. I don’t stop, I try to be better than yesterday for myself and then, things come naturally.”

It’s easy to assume that if a big fee does not return immediate results it never will, but Silva cost Wolves such an inflated fee at 18 for a reason. He’s still young and enjoyed two good loan spells in 2022/23.

Rangers will hope another is set to follow in 2024 under Clement in Glasgow. Silva feels that he’s found the right environment to thrive at Ibrox and in Glasgow’s intense footballing glare, he’ll very quickly find opportunities to show results.

Fabio Silva was speaking to promote Rangers’ friendly with Copenhagen at Ibrox on Tuesday. Tickets start from just £1 and can be purchased at rangers.co.uk.