Wolves’ 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur has given the club some breathing room, and the club had Adama Traore to thank for a huge result.
Wanderers are now five points clear of the drop zone, with Everton gaining a point against Nottingham Forest today.
There is still a lot of football left to play this season. But Wolves are in a good position at the moment and are improving under Julen Lopetegui.
There will be bumps in the road before the season is out. But the squad now compared to the one that started the season is in a far better place.
Against Spurs, it was Adama Traore who came in clutch for Wolves.
The rapid winger struck with around 15 minutes to play, converting superbly after Raul Jimenez saw his shot saved.
It was a fantastic moment for Traore, who is not on the scoresheet as much as he should be.
It was his third strike of the season, and it was a real moment of quality from the 27-year-old, and a real vindication of Wolves’ decision to keep hold of him in January.
The club might have been tempted to cash in on the player, with his contract expiring in the summer.
It was perhaps a final chance to get some money for him, assuming he isn’t going to extend his contract at Molineux. Napoli were strongly linked with the star.
But Lopetegui was keen to retain Traore, 27, and in recent weeks we have been seeing why that was the case.
Traore may not be prolific in terms of goals or assists.
But with him, there is always the potential for him to do something special.
Whether it’s a run where he beats five or six players, or an amazing finish like the one against Spurs where he didn’t have any time to think about it, there’s always a chance that Traore could deliver in a way that leads to points to for Wolves.
Given how tight everything still is down at the bottom, it was an absolute no-brainer for Wolves to keep a player capable of turning a game on its head.
Wolves keeping Adama Traore beyond January could be huge
There are, and will still be, times where Traore frustrates.
But he was so worth keeping around given his potential to do special things on a football pitch.
Ultimately, Wolves could end up losing Traore for nothing at the end his contract.
While that would sting, he will have hopefully played a big part in helping Wolves steer clear of relegation.
In the few weeks since the end of the January transfer window, Traore is already showing how crucial it was that he stayed.