Adama Traoré: A Barcelona youth expert gives the low-down on Middlesbrough's newest signing
Adama Traoré replaces Neymar to make his senior Barcelona debut at 17 | Photo:

Adama Traoré: A Barcelona youth expert gives the low-down on Middlesbrough's newest signing

Barcelona expert Noelia Déniz tells us about Boro's pacy new winger Adama Traoré after his deadline-day move from Aston Villa

Sam France

After Middlesbrough confirmed the arrival of Adama Traoré as their twelfth and presumably final signing of the summer transfer window, excitement and anticipation has been rife among Boro fans.

The pacy winger, signed from Aston Villa, is a Barcelona youth graduate and a player well known to Aitor Karanka, but after seeing his spell at Villa disrupted by injury, isn't a household name among the Teesside faithful.

So, to get the low-down on the 20-year-old, we spoke to Noelia Déniz, an expert on Barça and their youth teams at our sister site VAVEL España, and quizzed her about Boro's newest recruit.

'More than suitable for the Premier League'

VAVEL: What sort of player is Adama Traoré?

Noelia Déniz: "He is incredibly fast, very physical but with good technique, and he can also score goals. This is based on inferior leagues, but he did really well in the Spanish Second Division with Barça B."

V: Is he suited to the Premier League?

ND: "He is more than suitable. It is a shame he has not been able to prove how good he is, since the injuries have been making it hard for him."

Adama Traore during his unveiling as Aston Villa | Photo: AVFC via Getty Images
Adama Traore during his unveiling at Aston Villa | Photo: AVFC via Getty Images

V: What are his biggest strengths and weaknesses?

ND: "His speed and physicality are his strengths, and his weakness could be dribbling, although he has been improving in that regard. Right now his worst enemy are the injuries, that are slowing down his natural progress."

V: Were there high hopes for him at Barça?

ND: "There were high hopes with Adama indeed, there was always a lot of noise about him. People talked about him as a promising star, hence why it was so disappointing to see Barça negotiate his exit in such a way."

Karanka hopes to have special touch

Traoré, now 20 years of age, made his senior La Liga and Champions League debuts for Barcelona before his 18th birthday, replacing Neymar and Cesc Fábregas from the bench respectively. 

With Albert Adomah going the other way to Villa Park, he will have big boots to fill at the Riverside but a glowing reference from Spain suggests that he has the talent to become a terrific player under the right management.

Karanka will hope that his history of coaching Spanish youth teams will stand him in good stead, perhaps allowing him to flourish where Tim Sherwood and Eric Black failed to help Traoré shine in the Midlands.