Could Chelsea be set to move for Middlesbrough's Adama Traore?
Chelsea have reignited their interest in Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore, according to the Standard.
The Blues made an enquiry about the speedster while they were negotiating the sale of Patrick Bamford in January, but a deal couldn’t be done then, due to the North East side putting a £20 million valuation on the player.
Antonio Conte wants another attacking option, especially after the injury to Eden Hazard and believes that the 21-year-old would suit the style of play that he has implemented at Stamford Bridge. West Ham are also interested and the report goes on to say that Boro will be open to selling the former Barcelona man for the right price.
What would he bring to Stamford Bridge?
It was a mixed season for Traore at Middlesbrough as he excited with his dynamism and dribbling ability, but his lack of end product was a huge concern.
He averaged five successful dribbles per game, which is remarkable and underlines his athleticism. The 21-year-old always caused problems when he was running with the ball, as he had the pace to beat defenders and the close ball control to ensure he could glide past challenges.
At times, he was unplayable in transition as he countered rapidly and create positive situations for his side.
However, his decision making and technical ability on the ball were questionable, as he often wasted the promising situations that he found himself in. He ended the season with only one assist to his name, despite playing over 1500 minutes in the Premier League.
It isn’t as simple as suggesting that he was lacking in confidence due to playing in a poor side, as his crosses would rarely stay in play, let alone threaten the goal.
The right manager will believe that they can improve Traore and mould him into a good player. It would be a risky transfer, but the upsides are huge if he is coached correctly.
How likely is a move to Chelsea?
The report does suggest that Chelsea are keen on the player, with Conte believing him to be a good fit for his system. Middlesbrough will see him as a good player to have in the Championship as his dribbling ability will cause problems for the defences in the division.
However, he does require a lot of coaching and he is nowhere near the finished article. They could sell him for a good fee and reinvest that in a player that is used to the league. Although the Championship is a less technical league than the Premier League, it is more physical and Traore would be a target for defenders.
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