Rumour Watch

Leeds eye winger Adama Traoré: Rumour Watch

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Multiple sources such as Football Insider and TeamTalk suggest that Leeds United may be interested in Wolves’ Adama Traoré amidst growing speculation surrounding Raphinha’s future.

The 26-year-old Spain international failed to make a huge impact, despite promising early signs, while on loan at Xavi’s Barça, with just two assists in La Liga and just a solitary game in which he completed 90 minutes. This came despite the Catalan outfit’s resurgence in the second half of the season which ensured that they would secure Champions League football, and it has been widely reported that they will not trigger the clause to make the deal permanent.

With Brazilian ace Raphinha reportedly close to joining Arsenal and talks of a potential Barcelona move not going away, it looks likely that Jesse Marsch’s side will need a new right-winger to fill the huge gap that he would undoubtedly leave.

A fee in the region of 20 million euros, as is being suggested, would be less than Dan James cost in summer 2021, making this a feasible deal for Victor Orta to complete.

As with any rumour, this suggestion should be taken with a pinch of salt: hundreds of conflicting reports, many of which are attempting to get clicks more than anything else, can make it hard to distinguish the genuine reports from the nonsense, so here are some reasons for and against that may help you make your mind up.

Reasons to believe this rumour

  • Victor Orta signed Adama in 2016 when he was Director of Football at Middlesbrough, showing that he is a player that may be of interest.

Adama Traore in action with Tottenham’s Son Heung-min
Action Images via Reuters / Craig Brough

  • With Bruno Lage’s Wolves happy to let him go just five months ago, in the January transfer window, it seems unlikely that the powers-that-be in the Midlands will have changed their mind, especially with just four starts in the league since then.
  • Leeds have already made signings from Wolves in the past few years, namely Helder Costa and Barry Douglas. It seems that Orta & Co. are big fans of the type of player coming out of the club, and there is already some sort of working relationship there that could help to facilitate a move.
  • Jesse Marsch has repeatedly lamented the lack of experience within the squad – Adama has played in five different Premier League seasons already. With 160 apperances in the competition, he has played more games than any current Leeds United player.

Reasons to NOT believe this rumour

  • Barcelona and Wolves aren’t the only clubs that will have seen Adama’s failure to make an impact in Catalonia. Leeds’ recruitment team, if he has been a target at any point, will have watched his performances extensively, either live or on video. This may suggest to them that he isn’t the right player to move for, with immediate improvement to the side necessary to ensure security next season.
  • According to, Traoré is only in the 9th percentile out of 100 in regards to pressures per 90 minutes. This lack of pressures is at odds with Marsch’s preferred high-intensity playing style. Brenden Aaronson, on the other hand, is in the 99th percentile, and Marc Roca is in the 93rd – showing exactly the type of player that the American is looking for.
  • Adama only scored one goal last season and scored two the season before that, while Raphinha was the top-scorer in the team. This would suggest that he is not a suitable replacement for the prolific role that the Brazilian plays in this Leeds team.
  • Raphinha celebrates scoring against Brentford Reuters/Andrew Boyers

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