Adama Traore is “easily” good enough to play for Liverpool or Manchester City, according to former Wolves and City star Joleon Lescott.
The 24-year-old wide man has been tentatively linked with a switch to Anfield this summer, with Jurgen Klopp on record discussing just how big of a fan he is of the Spain under-21 international in the past.
But with Liverpool’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah such a finely-tuned unit that has helped the Reds to win the Champions League and Premier League in successive seasons, there have been concerns over just how much game-time Traore would get if he swapped Molineux for Anfield.
Lescott, though, is backing the Spaniard to succeed if he makes the move.
“Adama Traore has the ability to play for any side in club football,” Lescott told Football Index.
“Traore could easily play for a Manchester City or Liverpool. I have never seen such speed and strength on a football pitch before.
“Before this season, there were question marks over his game management and his final product, but he has really improved over the last 12 months. Traore has simplified his game and has taken his foot off the pedal.
“He used to sprint at his absolute fastest to beat defenders which meant he had no time to deliver a telling cross or shot.
“He now beats defenders only running at 80% which has given him that extra bit of time he needs to make the position count with a goal or assist.
“He was a star in the Premier League this season.”
Traore is set to line up for Wolves in their Europa League last-16 tie at home to Olympiakos on Thursday evening.
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, after making 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.”