In Focus: Chelsea target Adama Traore would be a useful bench option

According to reports on Spanish publication Sport, Chelsea are leading the race to sign Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore this summer, with the attacker rated at around £8m according to the Northern Echo.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the report suggests that the 21-year-old will be allowed to leave Boro before the start of next season following the club’s relegation to the Championship, despite the fact that he only moved to the Riverside Stadium less than a year ago and still has three years remaining on his contract.

While West Ham have been linked with an £8m move for the forward, it is Chelsea that could be the frontrunners for his signature.

How did Traore do last season?

While he impressed with his pace and his dribbling ability – the Spaniard completed a remarkable 136 take-ons in 27 Premier League appearances last term – his final product often left a lot to be desired and he ended the game without getting on the scoresheet and with just the solitary assist.

Where would he fit in at Chelsea?

The 21-year-old featured on the right wing for Middlesbrough last season and if he moved to Stamford Bridge he would likely provide cover for Pedro on that flank, and perhaps Eden Hazard on the left if needed.

Whether he could be considered as cover for Victor Moses in the right wing-back role remains to be seen, with question marks over his defensive capabilities.

Would he be a good signing?

While there is no way that he would be a starter right now because of his inconsistencies, there is no doubt that he could prove to be a useful substitute if Chelsea need a result because of his pace and dribbling ability.

He may not be anywhere near the finished article, but he certainly has a huge amount of potential and time to improve – something that could happen under Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, while the rumour seems slightly unlikely as Traore still has a lot of room for improvement, Conte has already shown that he isn’t afraid to give someone like Moses a chance in the Chelsea first team, and he may feel that he can develop the 21-year-old over the course of the next few seasons.