“He is another important player and I am expecting a lot from him,” Karanka on Traore

Adama Traore has left Aston Villa for Middlesbrough on transfer deadline day. The fee is undisclosed and the details of the move are yet to be revealed, so that leaves a mysterious edge to this transfer, considering Albert Adomah also went in the opposite direction.

The 20-year-old was hit and miss in a Villa shirt and so many Villa supporters will feel that this is the right move due to the intense expectations of promotion this year.

Traore was very much a player for the future, but in the short-term, Villa’s goal is to try and actually create that future with promotion from the Championship as soon as possible.

In terms of the future though, Villa do have some insurance though with a sell-on clause in the deal (as confirmed below by Tony Xia), which would suggest there wasn’t any transfer fee or it was a straight swap for Adomah.


Karanka is Key

Aitor Karanka, Middlesbrough’s Head Coach background is certainly key to the Adama transfer working out for Boro. As an ex-Spain U16’s coach, Karanka certainly has an eye for young Spanish footballing talent and had insight into the player while he was at Barcelona.

“I’ve known him since he was a kid,” said Karanka, after the deal for Traore was done. “I know all about him and what he can do…in the right environment I’m hoping that he will show what he is capable of.”

It will be a difficult task of harnessing the winger’s raw potential, considering some of the opinion of Traore that has come out of the Villa camp over the past few months. But with his background with younger players and his experience of working alongside Jose Mourinho as his number two at Real Madrid, he certainly has the chops to pull it off and the move starts to make sense.

“His level is higher than he showed last season,” added Karanka, about Traore’s potential. “In the right environment I’m hoping that he will show what he is capable of.”

Villa’s Loss?

While sectors of the Villa fanbase will question why we’ve sold potentially one our best young talents, there’s a host of reasons why Roberto Di Matteo may have felt that it’s necessary to get rid.

Firstly, Adama’s attitude isn’t the greatest in the world and after turning up to training late and just generally not involving himself in the team spirit that Di Matteo is trying to create, he became an undesirable. He’s perhaps one of the #lifestyle mob ala Charles N’Zogbia and at his age, it’s a concern that his focus isn’t totally on his football.


Perhaps the fact that he moved from such a prestigious club in Barcelona hasn’t helped his ego? Such a mentality is not a good for a promotion fight.

Furthermore, the fact that he’s very raw means that he lacks a lot in terms of real consistent technical ability and a proper football brain at this point in time. This could certainly be coached into him but Villa don’t have the time to wait on inconsistency or youth in our situation.

Also, Traore’s mysterious contract with its supposed staggered hefty wage increase, that became Villa mythology last season, can now be forgotten.


It’s certainly a good signing for Boro to make, when you factor in the Head Coach they have in place, who they’ll be hoping turns Adama into a more consistent player with a better mentality for the game. He can be electric and is one of the most unpredictable players Villa fans have seen in years.

He was initially considered a rough diamond, but despite his muscular physique proved to be more glass-like when it came to his injuries.

Despite the way Middlesbrough are trying to sell this transfer to their own fans by stating it was injuries alone that hampered Traore’s time at Villa, this is fairly inaccurate.

Traore has had trouble with most of the managers in charge at Villa during his time at the club – from Sherwood to Black – and despite Villa fans screaming for the young lad to play towards the latter stages of last season, whoever was selecting the team was quick to disagree that he was ready and that has to be for some reason.

Villa buying him was something of a punt and maybe the excitement of buying a ‘Barcelona’ player was too much to resist considering some of the power he demonstrated on tape. Ultimately though, bad coaching and the Villa manager merry-go-round also probably led to Traore’s inability to flourish during his time at B6.

While this is a gamble for Boro due to the player’s high wage demands, it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on. As for Villa, this is a logical switch and in Albert Adomah, they have a battle-ready replacement from Boro for their troubles.


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