As reported by Sky Sports, Tottenham are being heavily linked with a move to sign Wolves’ Adama Traore during the January transfer window. Here are three reasons why it could be a good move for Spurs.
The Moses Template
Antonio Conte has a very clear idea on his system and, whether 3-4-3 or 3-5-2, it places huge importance on the wing-backs. He will always look for the right players to fit his system, not the other way around.
One such player was Victor Moses. After joining Chelsea in 2012, Moses had mediocre loan spells with Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham. However, his Chelsea career was reignited following the arrival of Conte ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Previously deployed mainly as a winger, Conte recognised his attributes and converted him into a right wing-back. He played 34 Premier League games that season, a key figure in helping Chelsea to win the title.
Much like Moses, Traore is strong and athletic, with lightning pace but still very raw. Conte can use the Moses template to harness Traore’s attributes, develop his game and potentially utilise him as a wing-back in his system.
As highlighted recently, Spurs have struggled to create openings against teams that played with a low block.
Watford, for instance, were content to play narrow and deep, allowing the wing backs (particularly Emerson Royal) to have the ball in wide areas.
This had a dual purpose. Firstly, on the rare occasions Royal was able to deliver a cross, Watford were comfortable in dealing with them. Secondly, it restricted space in the central areas for the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura.
As seen numerous times in the past, Traore’s pace and directness causes teams to take action. Usually, this means one or two players trying to get tight to him when he receives the ball.
This extra attention that Traore attracts has the effect of freeing up space in other areas – space that can be exploited by the likes of Kane, Son and Moura.
A different option
If Spurs do sign Traore it doesn’t necessarily mean he has to start every game. There may be games against certain teams where the more defensively minded Royal is a better option at wing-back.
In other games, Traore could be used as an impact sub. The last thing tired defenders will want is the prospect of a fresh Traore running at them in the latter part of the game.
Alternatively, there may be games where he is used in his more natural position, as a replacement for Son or Moura. No player can play every game and, after all, each game will require different solutions.
Traore’s detractors will point to his lack of end product. However, in Wolves’ best Premier League season to date, finishing 7th in 2019/20, he racked up 9 assists, the 7th best in the league.
But irrespective of the stats and focusing instead on all the reasons stated above, Traore could be an astute signing for Spurs.
The reported £20m is a drop in the ocean these days and, if it also means offloading Matt Doherty, then it seems a no-brainer.
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