This weekend’s game with Aston Villa is an important one for Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore.
The Spanish speedster has started the last two Premier League matches on the bench.
With Traore starting as a substitute, Wolves beat both Southampton and Newcastle United, with Hwang Hee-chan playing a big part in those two victories.
The South Korean’s place in the starting XI has to be assured now after his pre-international break contributions.
Raul Jimenez is obviously going to play, so that leaves one place up for grabs.
With Francisco Trincao set to miss the game due to isolating after a positive test for Covid-19, Traore will probably be the favourite to start wide right over Daniel Podence.
Quite simply, he has got to deliver a great performance in order to keep his place. He needs to give Lage a reason not to consider dropping him again.
Trincao was somewhat unfortunate to lose his starting berth against the Saints.
He did then come back in against Newcastle, but didn’t really take his chance.
The game against Villa, therefore, is a big day for Traore as he bids to wrestle back his starting berth.
Traore needs big showing after reality check
Despite missing some glorious chances, Traore was outstanding back in August in the first few games, but Bruno Lage clearly doesn’t see him as undroppable.
Him not featuring from the start against Southampton and Newcastle was something of a reality check for the 25-year-old.
A little reminder perhaps that, as unique and dangerous as he is, he needs to be contributing more in terms of goals and assists.
Against his old club this weekend, Traore could really do with opening his account – or risk, once again, becoming a regular bench player.