Former Ballon d’Or champion Michael Owen has come out and praised the Wolves manager for the turnaround in form of winger Adama Traore.
Speaking to the Wolverhampton Wanderers website, the forward discussed just how the player has come on over the past few seasons, even describing him as a “project” – where the club are trying to get as much out of him as possible.
He said: “I think we are seeing the best of Traore now, and who’s to say we’re not going to see more of him – that’s certainly the plan at the club.
“He’s the type of person who wants to improve. He’s almost like a project, can you get more out of him.
“Last season, it was very much a lack of end product; he was running into cul-de-sacs, he was giving the ball away with a poor first touch, lashing at chances, and it was poor end product in general. But this season, he’s a completely different animal, and Nuno should take great credit for this. He’s now slowing himself down, taking touches and putting in the killer pass or shot.”
Considering that the 24-year-old has seemingly turned into a new player this season, you can’t really deny that Nuno needs to take a huge amount of credit for his uprise.
When do you think Traore will leave the club?
He will never leave Molineux
End of the season
The season after next
Two seasons time
According to Soccerbase, the midfielder joined the club for a fee of £18m in the summer of 2018. Considering that that, as a 23-year-old at the beginning of the season, he had started just top-flight games last season, he didn’t look like he justified the transfer fee. There won’t be one person saying that now, with his new value probably being at least four times that amount.
This season he has been a different player. Looking much more composed and threatening on the ball, Nuno changed the system to get the most out of him by playing a 3-4-3 as opposed to a 3-5-2, meaning that Traore could forget some of the defensive duties of having to play at wing-back to play more as a winger – a move which has done wonders for the team and the player.
These are reflected within his personal stats. From 24 league games this season, he has managed to contribute four goals as well as seven assists – a figure only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne (15) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (10).
It’s now up for the club to make the most of him while they can. Of course, with the ambitions the team has, they will be hopeful of keeping him for a long time to come, but with the player admitting that he would be interested in a return to Spain, it could be easier said than done.