According to reports, Leeds United will not be making a move for Adama Traore in the summer transfer window.
What’s the story?
Reports in recent weeks and months had suggested that the Whites were one of the clubs interested in signing the Wolves winger, but that now does not appear to be the case.
According to Football Insider, Marcelo Bielsa has reservations of the Spaniard’s qualities, and that he “does not believe Traore has the technical quality and ability to combine the play that he seeks in his wide attacker.”
The report added that Leeds were not interested in signing him in the January transfer window, and that will remain the case in the summer.
Bielsa making a mistake
The £36m-rated Traore is perhaps the most unique winger in the Premier League, given his incredible combination of speed and strength – in fact, after an impressive performance against Leeds last month, Martin Keown spoke about how “powerful and quick” he is, and that he loves watching him play.
Bielsa himself has recently admitted to how tough a player Traore is to mark, saying: “It’s better to follow the man than leave him to a team-mate. I believe, fundamentally, Traore likes to play out wide on the wings. If he dominates the ball on his side he’s difficult to start, so whoever’s marking him will need some support.”
As per Whoscored, his average of 4.2 successful dribbles per game in the Premier League this season is by far the highest of any player in the division, while he’s also the seventh-most fouled player per game.
That level of directness could’ve been game-changing for Leeds, especially given how the Whites have seen the likes of their own wingers in Jack Harrison and Raphinha thrive this season – they rank second and third for goals for their club with six and five respectively.
Having Traore in the team would force opposition sites into double-teaming him just to try and keep him quiet, and that in turn would open up the game for the rest of Leeds’ attackers.
It could’ve been a real game-changing signing, but instead it appears Bielsa is making a foolish mistake. Having a player who does something ‘different’ in a squad, whether that be a Traore-esque winger or a target man like Olivier Giroud at Chelsea, is key to posing different problems in the Premier League.
Instead, Bielsa appears intent on sticking to his tried-and-trusted system, which may be a bit of an oversight in games which could require a Plan B or something unique.