8 crazy stats from Adama Traore’s sensational return to Barcelona
When Barcelona announced the signing of Adama Traore on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers last month, a few eyebrows were raised.
No one that watched Traore terrorise Premier League full-backs at Wolves would question the Spain international’s ability and talent with the ball at his feet, but he never quite proved his doubters wrong in terms of delivering end product.
There were also some stylistic questions about whether such a direct dribbler would be a natural fit for the return to Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka that Xavi Hernandez appears to be trying to reinstil at the Camp Nou.
It’s early days, but Traore has already produced a pair of spellbinding performances back at his boyhood club. Those that questioned the wisdom of Barcelona bringing home could well be made to eat their words – and he already has a big fan in his manager.
“Adama is a very mature player. He knows when to face up, when to pass and he’s chosen his moments well today,” Barca boss Xavi told reporters after Traore’s star showing in his second debut against Atletico.
“Physically he is an animal, a beast. He is a pure winger and he will help us. He is a great signing for the team.
“Adama makes the difference. He has power, strength, he dribbles at opponents and he’s solid in defence.”
It remains to be seen what will happen next for Traore, with this loan deal running until the end of the season. You can only imagine that the Catalan club will be exercising the reported £29million option to sign him permanently in the summer if he can sustain this kind of form until the end of the season.
Here are eight eye-catching statistics from his electric return to Barcelona.
– Traore completed five dribbles against Espanyol. That’s as many as the opposition managed combined, and more than the rest of Barcelona’s other starters managed collectively.
– He carried the ball 212 yards towards the opposition goal against Espanyol. That put him second behind Gerard Pique, and 92 yards ahead of third-placed Sergino Dest. To put that in context, Espanyol’s Tonny Vilhena – who was out on the same wing for Espanyol – carried the ball just six yards towards Barcelona’s goal.
– Of all the players in La Liga to play over 500 minutes, Barcelona’s 20-year-old forward Abdessamad Ezzalzouli averages the most successful dribbles with 5.3 per 90. The fact Traore completed five in his first 90-minute match for Barcelona bodes well for his chances of becoming the league’s top dribbler – he was already top in Europe in 2021-22 from his time at Wolves.
– The winger has two assists in two La Liga appearances for Barcelona. That’s matched his assists tally from his last 58 Premier League appearances already, dating back the last season and a half to the start of 2020-21 (via OPTA’s Duncan Alexander).
– It took Traore just 20 minutes of his second Barcelona debut to notch an assist, crossing to Gavi in a 4-2 victory over Atletico Madrid. He’d failed to assist in 20 Premier League appearances (1065 minutes) for Wolves this season.
– Only Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba registered more touches of the ball than Traore against Espanyol. He’s instantly become an influential competent of Barcelona’s attack.
– Xavi’s Barcelona have scored six goals during Adama Traore’s 151 minutes on the pitch. In La Liga, it took them 431 minutes to score their last six goals prior to his January arrival.
– So far, the 26-year-old averages 2.94 passes into the penalty area per 90 minutes in La Liga this season. That places him fourth in that particular metric in Barcelona’s squad, behind Ilias Akhomach, Ousmane Dembele and Emerson Royal (now at Tottenham). He’s also top for completed crosses into the 18-yard box (1.76 per 90).