This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Wolves journalist Tim Spiers has passed his verdict on Adama Traore’s turnaround, detailing how his fortunes have changed while appearing on episode 10 of Minus 4: An FPL Podcast.
Traore may have missed out on finally representing Spain this week because of an injury, but the plaudits haven’t stopped for a man who is now finally starting to vindicate his hefty price tag.
Deciding to utilise an £18m buyout clause in his contract at Middlesbrough, the tricky winger flattered to deceive in his first season at Molineux.
He scored just once and claimed a solitary assist in what was a difficult period for the former Barcelona man. He looked anything but the type of player to come through La Masia.
Fortunately, that has now changed, and Spiers has detailed what he had to do in the face of adversity. He said:
“He’s definitely come on a lot and I know he’s spent a lot of one-on-one time with Nuno out on the training pitch with iPads looking at his positioning. He would tend to get the ball from deep last season and just smash it to the byline and then hope the cross he put in was in a decent position but a lot of them would just go behind. The fans were really frustrated with him.
“He’s managing his bursts a lot more. He’s worked with Darren Campbell, the sprinter, in terms of his speed. The ironic thing is Campbell has made him slower. He’s said if you run at 80% you’re still faster than anyone else but you’re saving your energy. He’s being a bit smarter. He’s got a gift, he’s a freak.”
It’s hard to deny with the sentiment above. Traore’s raw pace is absolutely frightening and the way he used it to his advantage against Aston Villa was devastating.
A man blessed with unnatural talent, Traore has come on leaps and bounds and he already has two goals and two assists in the Premier League in 2019/20.
Adding to that, the 23-year-old has three assists in the Europa League too. Initially starring in a right-wing back role when Matt Doherty was injured, laying on a goal during qualifying, he’s looked even better to the right of Jimenez in the final third.
That was evident against Manchester City when he crushed the Citizens with two goals.
Working more closely alongside Nuno Santo has clearly benefitted him, while learning about the art of sprinting from an Olympian in the form of Darren Campbell is proving incredibly fruitful. The fact he managed so many dribbles against Villa shows that he’s leaving more energy in the tank.