Wolves' Adama Traore Talks Barcelona Exit, Would Not Rule out Real Madrid Move

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 27: Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux on December 27, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore has said he would be open to the possibility of joining Real Madrid in the future.

Traore came through Barcelona's La Masia academy, where he spent 11 years before joining Aston Villa in 2015.

He told Jugones (h/t Goal's Ryan Benson) he would have no qualms about joining their rivals, although it seems he would prefer a move back to the Camp Nou: "If I do not have the option of Barca and I have to go to Real Madrid, I do not close any doors."

Asked about returning to his native Spain, he added: "Yes, why not. But I made a promise to become one of the best in England."

The 23-year-old joined Barcelona as a child in 2004. He made 63 appearances for Barca's B team but just four senior appearances.

On his departure from the club, he said: "There was a misunderstanding with Barca. Something happened that I didn't like, but I prefer to keep it for myself."

The winger spent a year with Aston Villa, but injuries restricted him to just 12 first-team outings in that time. He joined Middlesbrough in 2016 and contributed five goals and 13 assists in 71 appearances before moving to Wolves in 2018.

Traore's biggest strength has always been his incredible pace, but he's often struggled for an end product.

Per The Athletic's Tim Spiers, Traore has finally matched the two this season:

Tim Spiers @TimSpiers

Traore 2018/19 1 goal 3 assists Traore 2019/20 5 goals 9 assists

He contributed a goal and an assist as Wolves came from behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 on Friday:

Amazon Prime Video Sport @primevideosport

Adama Traore LOVES playing against Man City! @Wolves are back in the game 🐺 Watch #WOLMCI live ➡️ https://t.co/Q1mDhiSCZZ #PLonPrime https://t.co/dYAouY0PaJ

Amazon Prime Video Sport @primevideosport

Man City catastrophe, @Wolves fans WILD! Benjamin Mendy dallies on the ball and Raul Jimenez delivers the ultimate punishment 👊 #PLonPrime #WOLMCI https://t.co/TMwn8aMg5w

Goal shared the numbers behind his performance:

Goal @goal

🟠 Adama Traore vs Manchester City: 64 touches 25/31 passes completed 10/12 dribbles completed 5 shots 3 times possession won 3 crosses completed 3 chances created 2 shots on target 1 assist 1 goal 🔥 https://t.co/psaO6GQDwO

It is not the first time he has punished Pep Guardiola's side this season. In October, he scored both goals as Wolves recorded a 2-0 win over City.

According to Bleacher Report's Dean Jones, his former club are among those keeping an eye on his development:

Dean Jones @DeanJonesBR

Adama Traore so good again and has been watched by scouts from some big clubs this season, including Barcelona.

With Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both 32, Barca don't have as much pace in the final third as they used to. Ousmane Dembele is their quickest attacking asset, but hamstring injuries have limited him to just nine appearances this season.

Traore plays on the right, though, so unless he's able to be similarly effective on the left flank, a return to Barca would be complicated by the fact that he and Messi both operate in that area.

As for Real, he could serve as a long-term replacement for Gareth Bale at the Santiago Bernabeu, as the 30-year-old isn't quite as explosive as he once was.

However, before a potential step up to a more illustrious club, Traore still needs to show he can sustain his productivity at Wolves over a longer period than half a season.