Nuno backs Adama Traore to come good for Wolves soon

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has backed the ‘committed’ Adama Traore to improve his performances and become the force he was last season again.

Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)
Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)

The 24-year-old Spaniard regularly tore defences apart in both the Premier League and Europa League in 2019/20, coming up with nine assists.

This term, though, he is yet to set up or score a goal and has found himself in and out of the side, with Portuguese pair Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence shining in attack instead.

It is not gone to plan for Traore so far this campaign but Nuno, whose side are in action at Burnley this evening (5.30pm), believes he will turn it around soon as he said: “I think he is doing well.

“He started the season in a different position, as a full-back, I recall.

“Then he went to the national team, and he had a problem on his ankle.

“The international breaks are out of place and, I think, they didn’t help him.

“He lost a lot of time in terms of preparation, but I think that he is getting better.

“He has a lot of things, of course, to improve, but he is committed and positive that he is going to return to his top, top level again.”

With Raul Jimenez on the sidelines, the onus has been on other players stepping up on the goal front ahead of the January transfer window, in which Nuno has confirmed he would like to bring in a new striker to ‘rebalance the squad’.

Neto and Podence have managed to do so, too, with each of them on the scoresheet in last week’s superb 2-1 victory over Chelsea and the former now, on four, level with Jimenez as the top scorer for Wolves.

Traore’s search for a goal, though, carries on, having last found the net in a 3-2 triumph over Manchester City at Molineux almost a year ago. On his lack of goals, Nuno said: “The game is not all about goals, the game is about a lot of aspects.

“He is a good player and he will get there.”

Traore, having had such a major impact last season, seemed set for a new contract a couple of months ago – following Nuno, Jimenez and skipper Conor Coady in signing fresh terms.

Talks between the club and the speedy winger over an improved deal, though, then stalled and it is understood that an agreement still has not been reached.

Since then, Wolves have tied down Neto and Leander Dendoncker to new deals as well.

The mood around the situation is believed to remain relaxed, with Traore’s current contract running until the summer of 2023 and the club not putting too much pressure on him to put pen to paper as of yet.

Traore has made seven starts and six substitute appearances for Wolves in the top flight this term.

He has also broken into the Spain set-up – pledging his allegiance to his country of birth despite also being eligible to represent Mali through his parents – and quickly racked up five caps under Luis Enrique.

Nuno added on the former Barcelona man’s mood: “He is committed because of the actions I see every day.

“His behaviour and the attitude that he has in the training sessions and the matches.

“I think, normally, things will go with dialogue and everything will be OK with Adama.”

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