Adama Traore will reportedly be leaving Wolves this season, and with Barcelona passing up the chance to sign him, Leeds United have shown an interest.
What’s the word?
That’s according to 90min, who claim that Leeds have enquired about the Spaniard’s services and are keen on striking a deal.
This comes after their star winger Raphinha is reportedly looking to make his exit from Elland Road, with Barcelona ironically his preferred destination.
Looking to replace the Brazilian, the Whites will face stiff competition from the likes of Newcastle and Spurs, who tried to buy the winger in January.
Can he replace Raphinha?
The two pacey wingers actually boast very different skillsets, with Raphinha favouring technical ability and tricky feet, whereas Traore’s immense speed and strength makes him a constant threat for defenders despite his apparent lack of end product.
Raphinha was integral in Leeds’ bid to stay in the Premier League as he registered 11 goals during the league campaign. Conversely, Traore is an attacker who has struggled for goals, especially during his Wolves career. It must be said that the 26-year-old would not be able to make up for Raphinha’s proficiency in front of goal but could act as a facilitator if Leeds were to make other supplementary signings.
Traore boasted a higher average SofaScore rating of 7.05 in the first half of the season with Wolves than he did with Barcelona after January, outlining how his physicality does make him much more suited to the Premier League. That’s not to say that he didn’t perform in Spain, as his ‘second debut’ for Barcelona saw him grab a fine assist against Atletico Madrid and another the game after. They were however his only goal contributions in his 11-game stint in Catalonia.
With a top striker with something of a physical presence to aim at, however, Traore can prove effective.
He unsurprisingly ranks in the 99th percentile for dribbles completed, and in the 97th percentile for progressive carries per 90. His unparalleled ability to beat his man one-on-one will always make him a valuable asset, however, it is his 2.86 completed passes into the 18-year box that could underwhelm Marsch who will want quality service to Bamford and another striker he may look to purchase.
Despite this, Trent Alexander-Arnold noted of how coming up against Traore used to terrify him. In an interview with Goal, he said “it’s almost not human the way he can change direction and go. I’ve never felt so powerless against someone”.
If he strikes fear into even the best of full-backs in the league, it is surely a good sign.
If Raphinha is to move to Barcelona, perhaps a move for the £18m-rated Traore could be beneficial for Leeds in that it may bolster the entire team and therefore make them less reliant on specific figures. It is clear that the two wingers are completely different, and that Traore would struggle to fill the boots Raphinha may leave.
If purchased for a cut-price, though, it could prove good value and allow Marsch’s entire squad to benefit from the fear he strikes into defenders.
In other news, Leeds have been linked with a player of the season nominated striker. Find out who here.