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Wolves: Bruno Lage must unleash Boubacar Traore

Wolverhampton Wanderers face West Ham United in the Premier League this evening, with both teams urgently requiring three points.

They are both struggling so far this season, with just two points separating the teams towards the bottom of the league table.

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Willian-jose-wolves-quiz-2021

Which club did Wolves loan Willian Jose from in the 2021 January transfer window?

Bruno Lage will have to make some changes to his Wolves side following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City two weeks ago. Defender Nathan Collins was sent off so is therefore suspended for the trip to London, giving the manager something of a defensive conundrum.

Diego Costa could be in line for his first start for the club since joining last month, however, Lage should be unleashing another recent arrival against West Ham who, if his cameo against Man City is anything to go by, he could certainly be a game-changer.

Game-changer

Boubacar Traore arrived at Molineux on a season-long loan deal which Lage has the option to turn permanent if certain clauses are activated.

The midfielder eventually made his debut against City due to the club awaiting a work permit, but his 20-minute cameo appearance showed Lage that he deserves a place in the Wolves starting XI this evening.

During his brief time on the pitch, Traore received a rating of 7.00 on SofaScore, behind only Ruben Neves on the Wolves’ side (7.2).

The 21-year-old also won both his ground duels, made one interception and two tackles, while also blocked one shot as he settled into his role well alongside Neves and Matheus Nunes in the midfield three.

With Joao Moutinho just turning 36, his time left at the highest level could soon be waning, and Lage should be attempting to blood in Traore sooner rather than later.

Should Traore start for Wolves today?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Malian is obviously strong defensively; however, he can offer a lot more. Analyst Liam Henshaw described the player as a “dribbling machine” and Traore ranks in the 89th percentile for dribbles completed (1.30 per match) compared to positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues, therefore this high praise is vindicated.

Lage should be aiming to unleash Traore against West Ham from the very start and judge whether he can handle the pressure, but from his brief time on the pitch as a Wolves player so far, he should pass the test with flying colours – and could even prove to be something of a game-changer for the Old Gold going forwards.

Article title: Wolves: Bruno Lage must unleash Boubacar Traore

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