With Wolverhampton Wanderers’ long-running transfer saga this summer being the capture of winger Adama Traore from Middlesbrough, it’s fair to say that fans are already impressed with the former Aston Villa and Barcelona man.
The 22-year-old Spaniard cost us a cool £18million if reports are to be believed and I’d argue that the release fee is already being justified even though the man has only actually taken to the pitch for us four times.
He only has 91 minutes to his name in the Premier League so far as he continues to adjust to life in the top-flight and at the club itself, but he’s already returned one goal (West Ham winner) and Whoscored’s ratings give him 7.40 for his showings so far. He made his first start and full debut in our EFL Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday in late August, grabbing himself an assist as Leo Bonatini opened the scoring on the night.
Clearly, there’s a lot more to come from him as he adjusts and steps up to the level but he’s definitely starting to live up to the earlier hype as he came through Barcelona’s youth setup.
For Middlesbrough in the season of 2017/18, he completed more dribbles than anyone else – almost twice as many – and he’s continued that with us despite the cameo nature of his appearances so far. Leicester saw him complete twice as many than anyone else, so did West Ham and as fans know he was a second-half substitute in both those games, so the impact he’s having is quite stark.
Despite his relative lack of game time Sky Sports already have him down as making twice as many completed and successful dribbles than anyone else in the division and their numbers say per 90 minutes, he’s completed 11.87 so far – to put that in perspective Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and often spoken about PFA Player of the Year contender has only achieved 5.65.
His average stands out and whilst you’d expect that to go down as he starts more games, again it just goes to the impact he’s having off the bench for us in more limited minutes.
Traore’s big failure was always end product.
He’s finding one and when it clicks, £18million will be considered a steal.