Is Adama Traore any good?
So, the buttery muscle mountain that is Adama Traore is returning his substantial frame to the Camp Nou, to reignite the embers of a career that some might say has lost its direction—at his boyhood club Barcelona. A good as place as any to do that; a club which is in the middle of its own identity crisis.
The loan move comes after Traore bid a polite no, gracias to Antonio Conte’s Spurs, who apparently offered Wolves £15m earlier in the week.
Tottenham’s apparent pursuit of Traore feels like a protracted love affair, stretching over a number of different managerial eras. Talks of £100 mega bids, convoluted swap deals, unforgettable visits to online pokies—plenty of hot fuss, but never entirely sure whether Spurs were actually ever interested.
I mean, you assume they were.
Rumours were perhaps at their spiciest in the short-lived reign of Nuno Espírito Santo. The Portuguese coach seemed like the obvious man to bring Traore to White Hart Lane, having spent three years together at the Midland’s club. But even Nuno had prediction for saving the winger as an emergency siege weapon from the bench, which doesn’t exactly convince me Spurs were ever likely to pay what Wolves wanted.
The question is: have Spurs missed out? Or would this have been a financial drain for a, let’s face it, a divisive player at best.
Where would he play?
Despite Tim Sherwood’s assertion thay Adama Traore was a alien hybrid of both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, it’s fair to say that, despite Traore’s eye-catching physique and unquestionable talents, his output isn’t what you’d call prolific. Nevermind Lionel Messi, Traore’s record of 8 in 160 Premier League appearances is a marginally worse goals return than former Blackburn and Man United legend, David May (8 in 158).
No doubt there’s less tangible qualities that Traore brings to a team, than just assists and goals (which is lucky, because he doesn’t really provide either) and when he’s in full-swing, he’s an absolute force of nature. Spurs fans will remember his thunderous strike against them in December 2019, which, had the net not been their to slow down the ball’s trajectory, might’ve caused someone a real mischief.
The point I guess, is that a manager like Antonio Conte would’ve harnessed the raw talents of Traore and turned him into a superstar, if only for a season or two, as he’s made a very good career out of doing.
Meanwhile, it’s understood that Traore wasn’t entirely convinced by Conte’s plan to Victor Moses him into a right-wing back role in the Italian’s patented 3-5-2 formation. So it looks like Tottenham will be relying on Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal unless there’s some final day shenanigans on Monday.
Farewell Adama, we hardly knew thee. Maybe we’ll meet again someday.