Wolverhampton Wanderers could already have their Leander Dendoncker replacement…
According to The Athletic journalist Steve Madeley, Aston Villa seem to have won the race for the Belgian midfielder. The Old Gold will now turn their attention towards Metz midfielder Boubacar Traore.
Writing on Twitter he claimed: “First stop on journey to share @David_Ornstein story on Villa winning the race for Leander Dendoncker. Wolves now working to finalise a replacement, most likely Boubacar Traore.”
With the exit of the 27-year-old, Bruno Lage’s task of finding a versatile stopper who can score and defend will not be easy.
However, in Traore he may be able to recoup plenty of the attributes he will lose whilst also improving in many areas.
The Malian midfielder stands at just 6 foot, but offers considerable amounts of mobility that Dendoncker lacked. He ranks in the top 1% for pressures per 90 across Europe’s top five leagues, outlining how Lage is clearly hoping to increase the work rate in his midfield.
In fact, Dendoncker only really excelled with the stats that suited a low block. His amount of blocks, for example, were in the top 10%. This is useful for last-ditch defending, but not for a side wanting to play on the front foot.
With only 29 top-flight appearances in Ligue 1, Traore would join as a hugely inexperienced midfielder. However, this could be seen as a perfect opportunity for Lage to mould the 21-year-old into the ideal player for his system.
Dendoncker’s exit will receive a mixed reception from the Wolves fans, but Traore could quickly help them to forget him completely if he performs to the levels he suggests he can. He certainly looks as though he’d be a great heir to the Belgian’s place at Molineux.