Adama Traore has always been a player with the potential to be one of the best.
For many it’s just been a case of cracking the case on how to get him to reach the levels that we all knew he could reach.
Traore’s skillset has been clear to see from an early age when the Spaniard opted not to pursue becoming 100m runner in favour of a career in football.
After graduating from Barcelona’s famous academy set-up, Traore moved to Aston Villa where he played a peripheral role in the side which suffered relegation from the Premier League.
In the summer of 2016 Traore moved to the Riverside Stadium and that was where his transformation into an effective player started.
Blessed with exceptional pace and brutal strength, Traore was a nightmare for any defender who he came up against, but where he fell short was his reading of the game and his ability to play a final ball.
Tony Pulis was the first manager to really back the speedy winger and used him as a key part of the Middlesbrough side that reached the play-off semi final in 2018.
Traore was put on an intense individual programme to improve his game, with Pulis encouraging the winger not to use the full extent of his pace in order to grab valuable seconds to make a decision on where to play his final ball.
He made huge improvements under Pulis and secured a move to Premier League side Wolves after their promotion from the Championship.
Since then, the 23-year-old has gone from strength to strength.
Traore made 36 appearances as an impact sub for Wolves in his first season, with his pace causing plenty of problems after being introduced in the closing stages of games.
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But that 12 months allowed the winger to adapt to life with Wolves in the Premier League, and this season has really seen the introduction of Adama Traore is truly capable of.
Traore has scored four and created six so far for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side this term, establishing himself as a first team regular for Wolves.
A brace in a stunning 2-0 victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium was the pinnacle of his performances this term, while his goal against Tottenham Hotspur showed his ability to excel against the best teams in the country.
If getting Adama Traore to fulfil his potential was the end-game, then Nuno Espirito Santo deserves huge credit for the player that the 23-year-old has turned into.
That said, his time at Middlesbrough was key to his development and Tony Pulis also deserves praise for the work that he put into the winger.