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Adama Traore Was Approached by NFL Teams at Barcelona, Says Wolves' Roman Saiss

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 04:  Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on January 4, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore was approached by NFL teams during his time at Barcelona, according to his team-mate Roman Saiss. 

Traore has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the Premier League this season, with his stunning acceleration and dribbling skills making him almost impossible for defenders to stop at full flight.

The winger spent the early years of his career at Barcelona, before he moved to England to play for Aston Villa and Middlesbrough. Speaking about his team-mate, Saiss said Traore had the chance to change sports during his time with the Catalan club, per RMC Sport (h/t Sacha Pisani of Goal):

"I see him every day, because we are in the gym together, before or after training. Maybe he has a hidden gym room in his house, but at training, in any case, he never pumps iron, whether it is bench press or otherwise. He is huge and very quick.

"I remember saying to him: 'You run like an American footballer.' He responded to me that at the time that he played in Barcelona, NFL teams tried to get him to playing American football instead, that's how explosive he was.

"There are people who say that it is not possible, that he cannot be playing football."

Traore's physique has attracted plenty of attention this term, but he says it's all natural:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Imagine if he did 😳 @brfootball https://t.co/dtKcuricZ9

There have been some stellar performances from Traore in the Premier League this season, although his two-goal display in the 2-0 win at Manchester City was a standout, with the 23-year-old showing how much of a threat he can be on the counter-attack:

Earlier in his career, Traore was unable to marry his explosiveness with composure in the final third. This season, he's been able to refine that aspect of his game and has made major improvements overall.

Ted Knutson of StatsBomb said he still wants to see more consistency from the Wolves winger over the course of a campaign:

Ted Knutson @mixedknuts

3 guys I am not excited about that the media often gets excited about. 1) Zaha 2) Adama Traore 3) Thomas Lemar Re: Traore, let's give him a full season to see if Wolves have magically developed his end product, eh?

Now Traore is a first-team regular in a Wolves team that is seeking to break the top four; after consecutive defeats, they are in seventh place in the table and trail Chelsea by six points.

Given his ability and speed, Traore would have no doubt thrived in the NFL had he changed sports. However, there's a sense that Traore is well on his way to living up to the potential he showcased early in his career at Barcelona.

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