What is next for Wolves' Adama Traore?
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley at Molineux on December 01, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Adama Traore was back to his best in yesterday’s narrow defeat to Liverpool, but what is next for the pacey Wolves winger as his contract expiry date edges closer?

Traore started the current campaign in the same fashion that Wolves fans know the best: terrorising defenders, setting up opportunities for his teammates and being labelled as one of the Wanderers’ biggest threats.

But a run out of the starting line-up alongside a period of limited numbers of the bench and making no impact when called-upon saw Francisco Trincao first choice as the other attacker to join Raul Jimenez and Hee-Chan Hwang.

On Wednesday, Traore returned to the starting line-up against Burnley and was unlucky not to score his first goal since May’s win over Brighton.

His powerful figure threaded into the Burnley half from a defensive corner before firing a right-footed effort against the crossbar in the game's only clear cut chance.

Against Liverpool, he showed more glimpses of what he can do with his strength and physicality causing issues for the Reds throughout – forcing Andrew Robertson and Fabinho into yellow cards.

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Why is Traore so hot and cold?

It remains unclear what the main reason is. His influence on Bruno Lage’s side is second to none. Traore’s ability to shake off anyone who dares to challenge the Spain international and break into any available space is something no one else at the club, or league, can do as well as he can.

His end product remains a problem though. Currently in his fourth season at the club, Traore has only managed to find the net 10 times in 147 appearances – that’s 0/09 goals per 90 minutes.

His finishing isn’t the strongest part of his game. Since moving to Wolves from Middlesbrough in 2018, Traore has managed only 37 shots on target from his 126 attempts (29.4%).

Currently, we are less than halfway through the season, Traore boasts his highest passing accuracy (74.9). The return of Raul Jimenez has lifted the spirits amongst the playing staff at the club, with an almost depleted feeling in the second half of last season.

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Prior to the horrid injury at Arsenal over a year ago, the two had formed quite a partnership under Nuno Espirito Santo. But under Lage, Traore is yet to register an assist.

There continue to be rumours linking him to clubs elsewhere, Liverpool one of the most recent ironically, but the ball does remain in Traore’s court.

What does the future intale?

Will he pen a new deal at Molineux and battle with Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and others? Or will he look elsewhere for a new challenge to try and take his game to the next level?

Traore’s contract at Wolves expires in 2023, leaving both parties just over a year to come to a conclusion on his future.

Yesterday’s performance against Liverpool certainly provides Wolves more reason to give him whatever demands he has...