Adama Traoré is quietly turning into a complete winger. And this is being noticed by some of the biggest clubs in the country. Rumours of interest from Liverpool and Man City have been hitting the headlines. Will Wolves manage to keep their man?
Not Just Speed – Adama Traoré – A Transformation
Born in Catalonia, Spain, Traoré joined the coveted youth ranks of Barcelona. Like all young players, Traoré was trialled in the ‘B’ side. Despite making 63 appearances for the ‘B’ team, Adama never managed to make his break to the senior side. He ended up playing just two senior games for the 74 time La Liga Champions.
In 2015 he moved to England, and joined Aston Villa on a five-year deal for a reported £7 million. He made just 11 appearances for the side before moving to Middlesborough. Not a pretty read, during his first season, he took part in 31 matches without scoring.
There is no doubt that the young winger had talent. Explosively fast, and stronger than any other player on the pitch. he would cause any defender nightmares. Add to that the Spanish flair and silky footwork and he would dominate his wing.
‘But he has no end product’
Ask anyone to name a player that has amazing build up, but no end product, and Adama Traoré’s name would pop up more than most. Whether it was his inability to pass, cross, or shoot, the Spaniard just could not do justice to his incredible build up play.
But obviously working tirelessly on his weaknesses, in his final season at Middlesborough, Traoré showed signs of brilliance. Under Tony Pulis the winger scored five goals and provided ten assists during the campaign as Boro reached the play-offs in the Championship.
Soon after, recognising his talent, Nuno Espírito Santo brought Adama Traoré and his speed to Wolves, a team with the attacking flair like no other. He cost the side a reported £18 million, which is now looking like a bargain.
Fitting the system
In his first season, he struggled to make an impact similar to the last season at Middlesborough. He made 29 appearances, scoring just one goal and providing one assist. After all this hard work and perseverance, was he just never going to be the player many knew he could be?
His second season, 2019/2020 however, has seen him rise up to be one of the most feared wingers in the league. Still fiercely strong and quick, Traoré has found he is able to link up almost telepathically with striker Raúl Jiménez.
Traoré has scored 4 goals this season, but what stands out is his incredible 9 assists – joint 3rd behind only Kevin De Bruyne (17) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12).
Another interesting stat, Traoré and Jiménez have the most lucrative partnership in the whole league. Adama has provided an assist to the Mexican no less than SEVEN times this season (78% of his assists).
Continuing this relationship, Jiménez has even provided the assist for 3 out of Traoré’s 4 goals.
Nuno has these two working spectacularly, and it gives opposition teams nightmares.
Should he Stay or Should he Go?
There is no doubt that Traoré gives his side an outlet that not many other players in world football do. And with him linking up so well with striker Raúl Jiménez, Wolves would love to keep their man.
At just 24 years old, he hasn’t even hit his prime. And if Wolves could tie him down, having a player like Adama will be priceless. Nuno’s side are looking to push for European football and even look to break into the Top 4. (At the time of writing they are just 2 points off 4th place Chelsea)
But with the success comes the inevitable interest.
Rumours are linking Traoré to Manchester City. With Leroy Sane sensationally signing for Bayern Munich, there is space for a new winger.
“When you watch Sterling, Sane or Mahrez for City, they’re almost like a throwback to the old days – chalk on their boots. They hug the touchline, spreading the pitch and making it as big as possible. This creates more space in the central areas of the pitch for the talented Silva(s), De Bruyne and Gundogan to do their thing” – RegistaBible’s Tactical Analysis of Pep Guardiola.
And with his skills and speed, Adama Traoré does just that. He fits the mould of a more ‘traditional’ winger, and can create that space and drag defence out of their position.
City will be doing everything they can to stop Liverpool next season. Although they have had defensive struggles, and there is no doubt they will bolster their defence, having a player like Traoré will show they mean business.
But they will have to battle their rivals in red for the Spaniard, if reports are true. According to some outlets, there is interest from the Premier League Champions. And a chance to play at the highest level and in the Champions League is one that few can resist.
Traoré has had a great season and, ahead of a big test in a strong Arsenal side, he will have plenty of chances to prove his growth from the man who everyone wrote off as having no end product.