Lopetegui must unleash £55k-p/w Wolves “monster” today, he’s punished Spurs before – opinion

Wolves take on Spurs on Saturday afternoon and Julen Lopetegui must consider unleashing Adama Traore, given his history against the north London side.

Why should Lopetegui unleash Traore?

Spurs arrive at Molineux low on confidence, having lost out 1-0 to Sheffield United in midweek, to seemingly bring an end to their trophy chances once again this season.

Antonio Conte’s side have looked susceptible defensively throughout the campaign, with the Italian manager selecting the ageing Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet on the left-hand side of his defence on a number of occasions recently.

Ivan Perisic has also struggled to have the impact many expected him to have as a left-wing-back, and he could also struggle defensively against the pace of someone like Traore.

The Spanish winger has struggled to replicate his performances from the 2019/20 Premier League campaign when he averaged a phenomenal 7.49 rating from WhoScored for his displays in the top flight.

He boasts just one goal and one assist so far this term, with a far-less-impressive 6.52 rating to his name, but there is no doubting the power and pace he could offer the Old Gold on the counter attack.

After a loan spell with Barcelona last season, Xavi was full of praise for the powerful wide man.

The Spaniard said: “Adama has matured a lot. And physically, he is a beast, a monster… In 1v1 situations, you cannot beat him. Adama is the perfect winger for me. I am convinced that he will be great for us.”

The 27-year-old, who earns £55k per week, certainly has a history of strong performances against Spurs, as a lot of Wolves fans will remember his sensational display in a 2-1 loss at Molineux in 2019, when the wizard constantly tormented Jan Vertonghen.

BBC Sport awarded him the man of the match award in their report, as he registered three shots on target and more crosses and successful duels than anyone else on the pitch – scoring Wolves’ only goal in the game as the forward punished their weak defending.

While Vertonghen is long gone, starting the speedy winger on Saturday could have a similar impact if he is left isolated against one of Lenglet, Perisic or Davies on the counterattack, which could prove decisive as Lopetegui’s side look to earn an important three points.

Therefore, the Spanish manager should hand Traore – who has created 0.8 chances per game this season – a rare start this weekend in the hope that the gem can rediscover the form he showed in the same fixture back in 2019.


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