With all the speculation about Barcelona’s transfer embargo preventing them from strengthening their squad this summer, the newly-crowned champions of Europe need not look any further than their academy for stars, such as Adama Traore.
Traore has been a revelation in the Barcelona B team since making his debut during the 2013-14 season, and has become a key figure in the side over the past two campaigns.
Possessed with speed and natural dribbling ability, it is easy to see why Barcelona signed Traore at such a young age. Along with his eye for a goal and picking out the right pass in the final third, his main strength is running at the opposition full-back in one-on-one situations. His agility is mind boggling, with his twisting and turning, feinting one way but going the other, confusing his opponent time and time again.
Traore spent the best part of a decade in the Barcelona youth setup before finally being promoted to the B team in 2013. The 19-year-old joined the Spanish giants at the age of eight, after a brief period with neighbouring side CE L’Hospitalet. The starlet was born and raised within Catalonia, but his parents are of Malian descent and he stated that he has switched his international allegiance to the African country.
He has played a total of four games for the senior Barcelona side, scoring one goal, and made an appearance in the Champions League last season, after coming on as a substitute for Cesc Fabregas during the 2-1 home loss to Ajax. His only goal for Barcelona so far was scored during the 8-1 demolition of Huesca in the Copa del Rey back in December 2014.
Traore has recently signed a new contract that will keep him at Barcelona until June 2018, yet he has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League over the last six months, with Everton manager Roberto Martinez reportedly keen on bringing him to Goodison Park, whilst Mark Hughes tried to seal a loan deal for the forward to join Stoke City back in January.
It seems as though a loan move this summer could be possible for Traore, if he is to play regular top-flight football next year. He would likely only be used sparingly for Barcelona, due to arguably the best attacking trio in history in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. The likes of Pedro and Gerard Deulofeu are there to contend with as well.
At international level, Traore has played for Spain’s youth teams from the Under-16 side all the way up to the U-19s, but he and his brother Mohamed have since switched allegiance to Mali and it is only a matter of time before he makes his debut for the African country.