On Friday night football, we all watched as Adama Traoré got in between central defender and full back, received Fábio Silva’s throughball and smashed it past Areola at the near post. It was a stunning strike and definitely worthy of another look. Or several.
It was also the Spanish International’s first goal of the season in the Premier League in his thirtieth appearance. This brings his total up to just 6 Premier League goals in 133 matches. He last scored a game-winning goal in the Premier League at the start of the 2019/20 season against Manchester City.
Of course, not all attacking players are goalscorers. Some are more creators than scorers of goals. However, Traoré only got his first assist of the season in Wolves’ previous game against West Ham. This begs the question, if he isn’t scoring or creating goals, what exactly is he doing and why is he so highly rated?
Adama Traoré vs Jérémy Doku: A statistical comparison by radar
We can see above that he acts as an outlet for Wolves. Passes aimed at him are received at a high rate. From there he progresses play by carrying the ball up the pitch. He also offers penetration by consistently beating players that close him down. Lastly, while not reflected in his assists which is more prone to variance, we can see he is creating shooting chances for Wolves at a near elite rate.
Another player who profiles very similarly to Adama is Jérémy Doku, both of whom have been linked with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Klopp actually met with the player and his father in 2018 and explained he saw a then 16-year-old Doka as a future Sadio Mané.
From the above, it is clear to see why. His numbers are already among the best players in Europe in terms of progression and penetration. He is also involved in the buildup phase at near-elite levels for an attacking player and his pressing numbers are outstanding for such a young player too.
It is normal that end product comes later in a young player’s development with most seeing a serious uptick in their early 20’s. If Jérémy can and end product on top of this, you can see why Klopp believes he is the heir-apparent to Sadio Mané on Liverpool’s wings.
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All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.