Adama Traore is once again a Barcelona player. The Catalan club have announced his signing on loan from Wolves this Saturday evening, with a non-obligatory purchase option of around 30 million euros included in the deal.

The player had a medical on Friday, although the official announcement was delayed until Saturday evening because of a few minor details that had to be ironed out.

The presentation will take place this coming Wednesday, but it’ll be held behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Adama is considered one of the best dribblers in European football,” Barcelona said of their new arrival.

“In the last few seasons, he has led the rankings in terms of dribbles, showing his ability to beat defenders and get to the byline.”

The player himself expressed his delight at this homecoming, giving an interview to the club’s official media.

“I’m so happy to come back here after so many years, for me it’s a special moment,” Traore said of his return.”

“I grew up here and come back here with my family and friends.”

“I would like to give back this happiness on the pitch.”

This is a return to Barcelona for Traore, who was born next to the Camp Nou and who came through La Masia before debuting for the first team on November 23, 2013.

He left Barcelona in the summer of 2015 to join Aston Villa, while he also played for Middlesbrough and then Wolves in England.

He now returns to Barcelona after his time in England, just as Eric Garcia also did in the summer.

Dani Alves is another Barcelona returnee this January, while Ferran Torres is the club’s other winter addition. Traore is now the third new player to come in during this January market and will give former teammate Xavi another option out wide.

dama Traore’s return to Barcelona may well have been a heart-warming tale of perseverance on the part of a player who initially left the Camp Nou to further his career, yet there remains a very real sense that he has made the wrong choice.

In opting to re-join the Cules on loan, the winger has turned down an approach from Tottenham, with Antonio Conte having been desperate to add him to his squad.

Moving forward, this is likely to be seen as a mistake, with the chance to work with Conte often doing so much for players in Traore’s position.

Conte works wonders with wing-backs

There are few coaches who can claim to have a better grasp on a particular position from a coaching perspective than what Conte can achieve with the wing-back role.

Whichever club he has been at, he has somehow been able to turn a journeyman player into an absolute star at wing-back in his famed system.

At Juventus, he turned Emanuele Giaccherini into a star, whilst with Chelsea, there was the small matter of making Victor Moses, who had virtually played more games against the Blues than for them, into a Premier League title-winning right-back. Winning a Scudetto with Matteo Darmian is a feat not to be scoffed at either, so the thought of him linking up with Traore was mouth-watering.

Traore and Conte was a match made in heaven

Conte has usually had to put in a lot of work to turn those aforementioned players into genuine contributors, but in Traore he would have gotten the chance to shape a player with scary physical attributes.

Someone as strong, powerful and muscular as Traore doesn’t tend to be able to move quickly, yet the Spaniard is one of the fastest footballers in the world, in terms of sprint speed.

What more could you want from a wing-back? Imagine Kyle Walker, but multiplied by five. Conte would have been able to teach the Spaniard positional discipline, and the rest of his natural attributes could have made him unstoppable.

Imagine a coach who has worked wonders turning sows’ ears into silk purses finally having a golden goose at his disposal, a true generational talent. There’s no reason to think Conte wouldn’t have turned him into the best wing-back around within a year.

Traore has made a short-sighted choice

It’s understood that the crux of Traore’s decision to return to Barcelona is the fact he would continue to be utilised as a winger in an attacking position.

You can always admire a player for sticking to their own beliefs about their ability, but a player with as limited an end product as Traore has is never going to be a star winger at the top level. In fact, that could even see him return to Wolves at the end of the season having been a big disappointment.

Conte would have used him differently and you worry that the player will sooner than later regret the decision not to put his career in the hands of such a talented coach, instead of looking to essentially recapture his youth, which never works.


Courtesy: MARCA

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