We all know that professional footballers are often highly skilled and agile with the ball at their feet, however, physical form and fitness has increasingly become just as important in the modern era of the game. These days, carefully orchestrated training regimes help players to become finely tuned athletes, their bodies toned to perfection like thoroughbred racehorses.
While physical conditioning is typically focused around the position and role of a player, one Premier League star is turning the typical image of a footballer completely on its head. Usually slight and agile, wingers are the speed merchants of the game, racing up the touchline aiming to beat their opponents with speed and dexterity, rather than raw power.
Then there’s Wolverhampton Wanderers forward, Adama Traore.
Once a tall and slender youngster blessed with the lightning pace at the Barcelona academy, he left the Spanish giants after making just one first-team appearance, at which point the Sun recently highlighted his physical transformation. Heading to the Premier League with much to prove, Traore joined Aston Villa and struggled to make an impact. His form, technical ability and tactical awareness were erratic, while speed alone was insufficient for him to help the team avoid relegation.
Nevertheless, following a move to Middlesbrough in 2016, head coach Aitor Karanka started to get the best of Traore’s explosiveness, nurturing this physical talent to help shape the overall technical performance of the player. In addition to the technical and tactical improvements to his play, Traore also started to gain recognition for a muscular transformation that brought the addition of power to his game.
After moving to Wolverhampton Wanderers, the muscles have continued to bulge, as has the overall stature and status of Traore in English football, especially during the 2019-20 campaign with his team having become 18/1 football betting contenders for the Premier League top four. The 23-year-old has arguably become their best and most consistent player, hitting the headlines for powerful performances that are just as impressive as his hulking frame.
During one stellar display that earned a perfect whoscored.com rating, the physical power of Traore was there for all to see. After going 0-2 down at home against Manchester City, he pulled Wolves back into the game with a bustling run and superb low drive, in off the post. However, the most notable moment followed when rival defender Benjamin Mendy had the ball, as Traore bounced him away and assisted Raul Jimenez for the equalizing goal.
Wolves went on to win the game 3-2 and the amazing display by Traore not only hit the sporting headlines, it also generated countless amusing memes on social networks, along with great praise for his physical prowess and excellent form this season. Needless to say, such form and consistency have also attracted attention from afar. According to recent transfer rumours, former club Barcelona is interested in bringing the player back to Spain.
Meanwhile, there’s also keen interest from Man City and Liverpool, who are just as impressed with how well Traore has performed in the Premier League this season, contributing 4 goals and 4 assists in 20 appearances, as Wolves continue to push towards finishing amongst the European spots in the table. The club from the Midlands will be hoping to keep their muscular talent, as leading sides around Europe aim to lure him away.