Wolves broke their transfer record this summer after meeting the £18m release clause in Adama Traore’s Middlesbrough contract, but the 22-year-old is yet to start a Premier League game under Nuno Espirito Santo.
The ludicrously pacy winger was a graduate of Barcelona’s youth academy who came to England after signing for Aston Villa from the Catalan side’s B team.
After leaving Villa in 2016, Traore spent two seasons at the Riverside with Middlesbrough before signing for the Premier League new boys this summer.
His talent has always been clear for all to see but there have been questions about the Spaniard’s end product and whether he has the composure to be a success in England. There is no doubt though that his 93rd minute winner against West Ham on Saturday will have silenced some of the doubters.
The two sides were evenly matched at the London Stadium before Traore’s late winner snatched all three crucial points for the visitors. It was two of Santo’s substitutions that made the difference as striker Leo Bonatini played in Traore for the ex-Spain U21 international to fire the ball low past Lukasz Fabianski in the Hammers net.
Traore only came off the bench for Diogo Jota in the 62nd minute but his stats and performance on the whole proved why he should be starting on the right ahead of Helder Costa. The big-money signing had two shots on goal and made four dribbles as his direct style of play opened the game up for Wolves and fully justified Santo’s decision to send him on.
Traore also played two key passes during his 30 minute appearance though, proving that he is more than capable of creating chances for others as well as himself.
By finishing the late chance offered to him he also showed the composure needed to be a success in the top flight of English football and there is no doubt that he should now be starting ahead of Costa, who offered far less in the 72 minutes he was on the pitch before being replaced by Bonatini.
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