Adama Traoré (footballer, born 1996)
Adama playing for Barcelona B in 2012
|Full name||Adama Traoré Diarra|
|Date of birth||25 January 1996|
|Place of birth||L'Hospitalet, Spain|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 September 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 27 March 2018
Born in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia to Malian parents, Adama joined Barcelona's youth setup in 2004 at the age of eight, after a brief period with neighbouring CE L'Hospitalet. In 2013 he was promoted to the B-team, and made his professional debut on 6 October in a 1–0 away defeat against SD Ponferradina for the Segunda División championship.
On 9 November 2013, Adama came on as a half-time substitute but was sent off for conceding a penalty in a 0–3 loss to Real Jaén at the Mini Estadi. Two weeks later, he played his first La Liga game at the age of only 17, replacing Neymar late on in the 4–0 home win over Granada CF; he made his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League on 26 November, coming on for Cesc Fàbregas in the 82nd minute of a 1–2 defeat at AFC Ajax for the group stage.
Adama also featured for Barcelona's under-19 side in the inaugural edition of the UEFA Youth League, playing five times and netting twice as they won the trophy. He scored his first goal for the Blaugrana's main squad on 16 December 2014, playing 16 minutes and contributing to an 8–1 home demolition of SD Huesca in the Copa del Rey.
On 14 August 2015, Adama joined Premier League club Aston Villa on a five-year deal for a reported £7 million (€10 million) that could rise to €12 million, with Barcelona inserting a three-year buy-back clause in his contract. He made his debut eight days later against Crystal Palace, and his cross led to an own goal from Pape Souaré eight minutes after he had entered the game as a substitute for Carlos Sánchez. He scored his first goal three days later, the team's first of a 5–3 home win over Notts County in the League Cup second round.
Adama came on as a second-half substitute for the last-placed Villans away to relegation rivals Sunderland on 2 January 2016, and via a counter-attack he assisted compatriot Carles Gil's aerial volley equaliser – he was later replaced himself through injury, as his team lost 3–1. Following that game, he was dropped from the team due to indiscipline, as the season ended with relegation.
On 31 August 2016, Adama signed a four-year contract with fellow league team Middlesbrough, coached by compatriot Aitor Karanka, as Albert Adomah moved in the opposite direction. He made his debut on 10 September 2016 in a 1–2 home loss to Crystal Palace, replacing Cristhian Stuani for the final nine minutes; during his first season, he took part in 31 matches without scoring.
Adama impressed during 2017–18, first under Garry Monk and then Tony Pulis, with his pace causing several problems for opposition defenders, including an impressive performance against Leeds United on 2 March 2018 in a 3–0 win. He totalled five goals and ten assists during the campaign as his team reached the Championship play-offs, where they were knocked out by his former side Aston Villa; consequently, he won Middlesbrough's Fans Player of the Year, Young Player Of The Year and Players Player Of The Year awards.
On 8 August 2018, Adama joined newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers on a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee. He scored his first goal for the team and in the Premier League on 1 September – in his 40th appearance in the competition – in a 1–0 win at West Ham United.
On 17 February 2014, the Mali Football Federation reported that Adama and his older brother Mohamed had decided to represent Mali at senior level. However, in an interview with BBC Sport in October 2015, the former stated that he was still considering his international options.
Style of play
Tim Sherwood, Adama's manager at Villa, compared him to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, saying he had "a bit" of both. Catherine Wilson of ESPN FC credited his "athleticism", though also remarked that his "footballing brain and teamwork skills are definitely up for debate". Remarking on his physique, the Belfast Telegraph stated "He's built like an absolute tank. Size of the arms on that man. One drive and it would be lights out".
In 2018, ESPN FCs Matt Stanger acknowledged the player's pace and strength, and added that he "is now showing the composure to find the killer pass", while boasting "rapid acceleration" and "excellent close control to shield the ball from defenders"; Stanger also believed Adama's "defensive contribution" to be developed, pointing his key weaknesses as "moments of recklessness" and "decision-making" which "continues to frustrate his teammates"; he was also described by Teesside Gazette's Philip Tallentire as a 'tallismanic playmaker', after his form during the 2017–18 season.
While with Wolverhampton Wanderers, after his first three appearances as a substitute, Michael Butler of The Guardian reported: "Traoré has always been regarded as a rough diamond, lightning quick but perhaps lacking composure or an end product. [...] Per 90 minutes, nobody in the Premier League has created more chances than the 22-year-old or completed even half the number of successful dribbles: Eden Hazard has 5.56 to Traoré’s 11.87. Nuno Espírito Santo has so far refrained from starting Traoré in the league, such is his ability off the bench to stretch the game and punish tired legs".
- As of match played 16 September 2018
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Barcelona B||2013–14||Segunda División||26||5||—||—||—||—||26||5|
|Aston Villa||2015–16||Premier League||10||0||0||0||1||1||—||—||11||1|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||2018–19||Premier League||4||1||0||0||1||0||—||—||5||1|
- Segunda División Team of the Year: 2013–14
- Middlesbrough Fans Player of the Year/Players Player of the Year/Young Player of the Year: 2017–18
- "Squads for 2016/17 Premier League confirmed". Premier League. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Aritz Gabilondo (24 February 2012). ""Mis padres llegaron de Mali en los 80. Yo soy de Barcelona..."" ["My parents arrived from Mali in the 80s. I am from Barcelona..."]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- Josep Capdevila (4 April 2013). "Adama Traore, juvenil de primer año, puede ser la gran novedad del Barça B el sábado" [Adama Traore, first-year juvenil, may be Barça B surprise Saturday]. Sport (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Ponferradina – Barça B: Un penalti condena al filial (1–0)" [Ponferradina – Barça B: Penalty condemns reserves (1–0)] (in Spanish). FC Barcelona. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "FC Barcelona B v Real Jaén: Bad luck in front of goal (0–3)". FC Barcelona. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- "Granada pay the penalty". ESPN FC. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
- "Ajax claim Barcelona scalp to stay in contention". UEFA. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "First Youth League title goes Barcelona's way". UEFA. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Pablo Egea (16 December 2014). "Los suplentes culés también cuentan" [The culé backups also count]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 December 2014.
- "Adama Traore: Barcelona winger joins Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Michael Emons (22 August 2015). "Crystal Palace 2–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
- "Aston Villa 5–3 Notts County". BBC Sport. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- Young, Chris (2 January 2016). "Sunderland 3 Aston Villa 1: Jermain Defoe double secures priceless win". Sunderland Echo. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Gregg Evans (8 April 2016). "Will Adama Traore start for Aston Villa? Here's what Eric Black has to say on the matter". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Deadline day: Aston Villa's Adama Traore joins Boro". Middlesbrough F.C. 31 August 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
- Philip Tallentire (12 September 2016). "Karanka on Adama Traore: 'I never bring a player in just to be on the bench'". Teesside Gazette. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
- Darren Lewis (20 June 2017). "Chelsea ready to make a shock move for Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- Joe Urquhart (2 March 2018). "Middlesbrough 3 Leeds United 0: Wiedwald faces wrath of Whites fans after Riverside defeat". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Wolves complete signing of winger Traore". The New York Times. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
- Ged Scott (15 May 2018). "Aston Villa 0–0 Middlesbrough". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Philip Tallentire (7 May 2018). "Middlesbrough's award winner Adama Traore is linked with big money move in the summer". Teeside Gazette. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Traore completes Molineux move". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
- Tim Oscroft (1 September 2018). "Wolverhampton Wanderers 0–1 West Ham United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
- "Barca's Adama Traore to play for Mali". Super Sport. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Oluwashina Okeleji (4 October 2015). "Aston Villa's Traore in no rush to decide international future". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "International round-Up: Traore makes international bow". Middlesbrough F.C. 23 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Wilson, Catherine (18 January 2017). "Boro would miss Traore's tenacity, urgency if he were sold to Chelsea". ESPN FC. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Hanna, Gareth (22 March 2018). "Northern Ireland U21s 3–5 Spain U21s: Irish League stars shine against La Liga talent despite harsh defeat". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Stanger, Matt (7 March 2018). "Scouting spotlight: Jonathan Tah, Adama Traore, Andrija Zivkovic". ESPN FC. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Steinberg, Jacob; Glendenning, Barry; Butler, Michael; Unwin, Will (14 September 2018). "Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Javier Gascón (9 February 2014). "Mali viene a buscar a Adama" [Mali come to get Adama]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Adama Traoré at Soccerway
- "First Youth League title goes Barcelona's way". UEFA. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- "El once ideal de la Liga Adelante 2013/14" [Liga Adelante's All-Star XI 2013/14] (in Spanish). La Liga. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2018.