Jurgen Klopp spotted what so many missed about Adama Traore ahead of Barcelona transfer

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Wolves winger Adama Traore is set to complete a medical with Barcelona on Friday ahead of a return to the La Liga, initially on loan with the option to become permanent in the summer

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Transfer rumours: Barcelona in talks with Wolves’ Traore

Adama Traore’s Wolverhampton Wanderers career looks set to end on 154 appearances, 11 goals and 18 assists.

The stats don’t make for particularly pleasant reading, but to reduce Traore’s impact to raw numbers alone misses exactly what the Barcelona-bound star is all about.

On Friday, the 26-year-old Spain international will complete a medical with his boyhood club before returning to where it all began, initially on-loan ahead of a permanent move in the summer.

With his latest Premier League stint coming to an end, it will invariably lead to analysis of a promising player who failed to ever truly deliver.

But Traore’s impact in three-and-a-half years goes well beyond those ultimately disappointing numbers.

Have Your Say! What do you think of Adama Traore’s Barcelona return? Tell us here.

Adama Traore has arrived in Barcelona ahead of his medical

At a very simplistic level, Traore represents exactly what football should be about…fun. And that is exactly what the Spaniard offered Wolves supporters. Yes it could be frustrating, but few players have ever had the ability to hold Molineux in the palm of their hands the way he did.

Whenever – and wherever – he picked up the ball, a hushed silence would descend over the famous old stadium, safe in the knowledge that more often than not, something would happen.

That hush was often only broken by the clacking of seats as fans rose to their feet as he prepared to flummox yet another Premier League full-back.

The cynical rotation of fouls on the winger represented exactly what opposition managers thought of him, regardless of his output, he was a player which had to be accounted for.

And on so many occasions, as three or four players were attracted to his presence, it allowed his team-mates to flourish.

That is perhaps what has been so underestimated about the story of Traore and Wolves.

On the face of it, he is a player that was born for the YouTube era, able to beat five players in the blink of an eye using a combination of intelligence, unnatural speed and resilience.

But it was his unselfish work that endeared him to the Molineux faithful, playing under the uber-conservative Nuno Espirito Santo he had no choice.

But since 2018, he has played right-wing, left-wing, wing-back and center forward without even a murmur of discontent.

Jurgen Klopp is a public admirer of Barca-bound Adama Traore
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Offside via Getty Images)

A player whose teammates have never said anything but good things about, Traore helped newly-promoted Wolves become an established Premier League club overnight.

But that is not to under-play his individual brilliance. Jurgen Klopp once described him as “unplayable” after a particularly impressive performance against his title winners.

And on his day, he was exactly that. Just ask Liverpool, or Manchester City, or Arsenal, or Tottenham.

If one performance encapsulated exactly what Traore was to Wolves, it would have been his showing against City on October 6, 2019.

Starting at right wing-back, he shackled Sterling, before being used as a central striker, scoring two in the final 14 minutes to send a packed away end into frenzy.

Traore’s double at the Etihad will live long in the memory for Wolves fans
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The cries about his lack of end product often come from those who haven’t been fortunate to watch his talents on a weekly basis.

An overhit cross will often make its way onto social media, what is usually missing is the 50-yard slaloming run which preceded it.

Had Raul Jimenez converted his penalty in the Europa League quarter final vs Sevilla, it is likely Traore’s unbelievable run to win it in the first place would be talked about in the glowing terms it should have been.

When Jimenez suffered his long-term injury, it was Traore who almost single-handedly dragged Wolves to the results which kept them in the division.

Traore’s unbelievable run against Sevilla almost helped Wolves to their biggest victory in generations

Wins over Leeds, Fulham, Sheffield United and Brighton all had Traore’s imprint all over them and his impact in the final throes of Nuno’s stint in the dugout shouldn’t be overlooked.

Traore turning out for another Premier League side would have been a difficult pill to swallow, but few would deny him his romantic Camp Nou start.

There has always been a suggestion that if Traore could ever put it all together, he would be playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The Blaugrana’s standing means that it hasn’t needed to happen to get back there, but he now has the perfect opportunity to finally realize his potential at the place it all started.

But he goes with well wishes from most Wolves fans who had the pleasure of watching one of the most unique and exciting footballers on the planet.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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