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Wolves simply cannot sell Adama Traore now

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There is now speculation that Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore could join Tottenham Hotspur before the summer transfer window closes next week.

Well-known and well-respected journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Tottenham are keen on securing the services of the Spain international winger.

There has been plenty of reaction to the news, including from Wolves’ chief reporter for The Athletic, Tim Spiers.

In light of Bruno Lage’s press conference last week where the manager said that “any player could leave for the right price.” Spiers said that a transfer could be possible.

Taking to twitter, he expressed that selling Traore for a fee between £40-£50m may be deemed a good return for Wolves’ owners Fosun.

Provided that Fosun are an investment company, this is partly true. Traore only has two years left on his contract after talks broke down last season. Wolves could be forced to sell him for a lower fee next summer.

That being said, this does not mean Fosun have to rush into the sale of a player whose future at Wolves is far from over.

Bruno-ball suits Traore

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Wolves’ biggest transformation so far this season has been their playing style.

Although they have not scored, they have had the second-most shots in the league and averaged 58 percent possession against Tottenham Hotspur.

Head coach Bruno Lage arrived with a very attacking reputation from his time at Benfica and with good reason going off Wolves’ performances so-far.

Key to those attacking displays have been Adama Traore, who has dribbled past the most players in the league this season (16).

This is nothing new to the Spaniard’s game, who achieved the feat last season. However, under Lage, Traore is also leading the league charts for shots (10) and shot creating actions (15).

In addition to his dribbling, Adama Traore has looked more of a goal-threat this season. Image Credit: Michael Jones

Ok, he is yet to score but never before has he looked such a consistent goal-threat. One thing to consider is that since arriving in England, Traore has not worked with such an attack-minded coach.

His former bosses such as Remi Garde, Tony Pulis and Nuno Espirito Santo have all focused on defending first. If he joins the latter at Spurs, then it could possibly stagnate his development.

Not one of Traore’s former managers in England has averaged over 50% ball possession for a full season. Image credit: Michael Jones

Therefore, if Traore can add goals to his game under Lage his value could skyrocket – even with one year left on his contract next summer he could still command a £40m transfer fee.

Running out of time

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According to The Athletic, Traore’s contract talks broke down twice last season – first in late 2020 due to the wage on offer not making him one of the club’s top-earners and then again at the end of last season following Nuno Espirito Santo’s exit.

If Wolves are able to keep Traore this season, his underlying statistics under Lage suggest that he merits being made the club’s best paid player.

This was echoed by the new boss who said that “Traore and Neves are the clubs best players.”

It is early days but Lage has shown signs that he could unlock parts of Traore’s game that Nuno never could.

If Wolves’ new coach is deprived of developing him further it leaves the club with a massive uphill task.

The benefit of receiving hefty sums of money for star players is that it can be reinvested into young, burgeoning talent.

However, with the window due to close 31 August, if Traore departs replacing him with value-for-money would be a huge ask.

A Spurs offer will force Wolves into action. Whilst any response will be a gamble, the best bet may be to hold out.