Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was very complimentary of Spanish winger Adama Traoré, following his recent man-of-the-match display against champions Manchester City, but is he a player who would fit in at Anfield?
The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa forward appears to have found himself a home in Wolverhampton, featuring more often than not for the busiest period of the Premier League season so far.
Having completed a stunning return to the Premier League last season, securing European football at the first attempt Nuno Espírito Santo’s men have been heavily tested so far this campaign, with no side having played more games from England’s top division.
Wolves’ £18-million man Traoré has featured domestically and in Europe and is arguably enjoying the finest run of form in his career to date. Still just 23 years old, it’s fair to say the Spaniard has been subjected to substantial criticism in the past, with it being suggested in the past that he lacked end-product.
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The player has worked vigorously to prove his critics wrong and appears to have done just that. The pacey winger played a pivotal role recently as Wolves stunned Pep Guardiola’s City, notching a goal and assist. Formerly coached by City’s manager, Traoré showed his development in fine fashion helping to rally his side from two goals down.
It’s widely reported that Guardiola wanted to reunite with the Barcelona academy product during his time at Bayern Munich, but a deal was never struck. In addition to what appear to be admiration from one of the world’s best coaches in the fellow countryman, his performances this season have drawn sparkling judgement from Liverpool’s Klopp.
The German spoke highly of Traoré speaking with Sky Sports, saying: “He finally found his manager who found a position for him. At Middlesbrough he was exceptional, but somebody had to give him the right information.
“A big, big talent. You would never have thought he is that young, but he is still very young, and now he has found [the right manager]. It was always clear it would happen one day, and now it has. Good for Wolves!
“He is really dangerous. In a big space Jamie Vardy is difficult to defend, but I would say Traoré is even more difficult to defend because his speed is exceptional.”
If the comments weren’t enough, a cuddle at full time between Klopp and Traoré — as the Reds narrowly edged past a valiant Wolves side, much changed to the one that beat City — has only increased speculation of a possible transfer.
At present it would be hard to see Traoré as a regular starter at Anfield. However, it is clear that he would be an amazing asset to most squads in the Premier League. There has been speculation of possible interest from José Mourinho’s Spurs too, but if Klopp and Michael Edwards can pull off a deal for a reasonable price, it would surely be a no-brainer.
In recent seasons, Traoré has shown his ability to listen to coaches, proven by his impressive development. Compared with the player on the books at Aston Villa, he is far more polished in attacking areas. Upon originally arriving in England, there was always an expectation that perhaps he would lose the ball cheaply, with no real effort to win it back.
That couldn’t be further from the truth now. His determination and fight to help his side is clear for all to see, and credit has to be given to both Tony Pulis and Espirito Santo for bringing that out of him.
This is a player with the talent to really flourish under Klopp and he could really develop into one of the finer wingers in the league. While still at such a young age, for the right price, he could be frightening with guidance from Klopp and Pep Ljinders.
Let’s not forget the drastic uptake in performances of both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané since joining the Reds.