As one of the most interesting and inspiring stories of the January transfer window, the return of Adama Traore to FC Barcelona really caught the imagination of their fans. This was a player who started his fledgeling career at the club, then headed to English football in order to develop his game and find the progress his career needed. But looking back at the boy who left, compared to the man who returns, this is truly fascinating.
English Football Transformation
Adama Traore was a slender yet clearly talented young individual, one projected to have a great future ahead of him, after quickly rising through the fabled La Masia youth academy. After being promoted to the B team squad in 2013, the player known as “Adama” soon realised his dream, at the age of just 17 Adama Traoré makes a debut with FC Barcelona, his first team in November 2013, replacing Brazilian superstar Neymar from the bench in the 4-0 win over Granada.
Later in the same month, Traore also made his UEFA Champions League debut, again as a substitute and this time in the place of Cesc Fabregas, as Barcelona slipped to a 2-1 defeat away at Ajax. During the following 2014-15 campaign, Adama was limited to just two further appearances with the first-team squad, both in the Copa del Rey, which ultimately led to what some believed was a premature departure.
🔵🔴 Who would say nine years later…
🔙 Adama Traore returns to the Camp Nou 🏟️ immensely transformed physically pic.twitter.com/g28A2Fo2tq
— AS USA (@English_AS) February 7, 2022
Aston Villa swooped in August 2015, signing Traore for what looked a bargain price at €10 million-plus bonus clauses, although he struggled to settle and made just 10 Premier League appearances before they were relegated. After switching to Middlesbrough in August 2016, while Adama enjoyed plenty more action, they too suffered relegation. Nevertheless, he remained at the club for the 2017-18 Championship campaign, becoming hugely popular with fans.
On the move once again, Traore signed for Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2018, having completed his remarkable technical and physical transformation. Instantly a hit for his powerful style out wide, Adama has been a key player at Wolves for the last four seasons, even earning himself 8 caps with the Spanish national team since debuting with La Roja in 2020. Eventually, as fate would have it in January 20202, his career would come full circle.
Amazing Adama Anecdotes
Easily the most eye-catching aspect of Adama Traore is his powerfully muscular build, which is genuinely an uncommon attribute for a winger. However, this physical prowess also helps the pace and strength of his playing style, comfortably able to shield the ball and then accelerate away from rival defenders. Despite his incredible body transformation attracting sports media interest, Traore claimed he does not lift crazy weights.
“My gym work is guided by the personal trainer who takes me,” explained Traore in comments published by The Sun in 2020. “But I don’t do weights. I do a lot of core. The secret is to know your body and adapt the training to your physical condition,” he underlined, insisting that focus on diet has also been a key factor in his development. Adama even mentioned that his mother’s cooking had also helped, “who is the best cook in the world,” he concluded.
The Challenge Ahead
The 2021-22 season has undoubtedly been turbulent and extremely difficult for Barcelona, given the huge obstacles the club and the football team have been forced to overcome. Massive debts ultimately forced the departures of numerous players, most notably including Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid and Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain, while fans quite literally wept outside the Camp Nou stadium when the Argentine superstar left.
Dutch coach Ronald Koeman was also fired early in the season, replaced by popular former player Xavi Hernandez, as the club seeks to rebuild on the foundations of its traditions and renewed positivity. But can Barcelona achieve any success in what remains of their season? Miles behind eternal rivals Real Madrid on points, there’s little chance of actually winning LaLiga this term, although most sportsbooks agree they will finish in the top four.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 7, 2022
Already eliminated from the Copa del Rey, after also falling short in the UEFA Champions League, the one cup competition Barcelona can still aim for is the UEFA Europa League. The Catalan side is already tipped as one of the outright favourites, although comparing the value of odds will certainly be worthwhile. This can be done via an extensive guide to the best football betting sites from Asiabet, along with tips and predictions with expert analysis.
Considering everything that is happening at the club, Adama Traore has certainly opted for the most challenging time to make his return to Barcelona, although there is no doubting his desire to succeed. The powerful winger will be more determined than ever, eager to help his boyhood club win silverware, and undoubtedly earn himself a permanent move back to the region that originally birthed his impressive talents.