‘His opponents knew exactly how to stop him’ – Why Adama Traore didn’t make the grade at Barcelona

The Wolves winger has come a long way since coming through at La Masia, and his former youth coach has been impressed by his development

Adama Traore was too predictable during his days at Barcelona and has now added an impressive tactical nous to his game to help him thrive in Premier League, according to his former youth coach.

Traore developed at Barca’s renowned La Masia academy, where his pace and strength caught the eye, before he moved to English football with Aston Villa after making just four senior appearances for the Catalans.

The winger’s power meant he made an instant impact in the Premier League, although an apparent lack of tactical awareness or end product meant he was often a frustrating watch for fans and managers.

Indeed, Traore suffered relegations with both Villa and Middlesbrough before he moved to Wolves in the summer of 2018.

Since then, the 24-year-old has developed impressively, adding finishing and crossing accuracy to his game to become one of the most potent attacking forces in England’s top flight.

Jordi Vinyals, who coached the young Traore at Barcelona, says he is delighted to see the improvement in a player he says was easy to stop in the Spanish lower leagues because his style of play was too predictable, in spite of all his natural talents.

Speaking exclusively to Goal and SPOX , Vinyals said:  “Even though he wasn’t that muscular at the time, Adama had the best physique of all the players in the second division. He was the fastest and the strongest player.

“His problem was he was not tactically at his current level. Many of his opponents knew exactly how, despite his physical superiority, they could tactically stop him. I am happy that the boy has developed so well in England.”

Vinyals helped produce many of the talents at Barca’s academy who are now impressing both at Camp Nou and in top leagues around Europe.

That includes Thiago Alcantara at Bayern Munich, and Vinyals hopes the midfielder could return to play for his home club one day.

He said: “I’ve always liked Thiago. He has matured into an even more wonderful footballer in Germany because he has also adapted to the physically demanding level and is not only the one who distributes the ball, but also conquers it.

“It combines everything a modern midfielder needs. I would like to watch him and would be happy if he would play in Barcelona again.”