Rafa Could Transform This Young Spanish Forward Into A Top Class Player

Middlesbrough right-winger Adama Traore was a transfer target for Newcastle last season, and at one point Rafa tried to get a part exchange deal agreed with goalkeeper Karl Darlow going in the other direction.

But the Newcastle manager could not get the deal closed.

Traore was born in L’Hospitalet in Spain and was at Barcelona until 2015 when he joined Aston Villa for £7M.

He played only 12 times for Villa in their relegation year and left the club in 2016 and joined Middlesbrough who at that time had just been promoted to the Premier League.

And for the second year running, Traore was part of a relegation side as Middlesbrough were relegated last years when Newcastle were promoted back to the Premier League.

22-year-old Adama Traore in action last season against Aston Villa

We haven’t seen any reports that Rafa is interested in the Spaniard this year – yet.

But the player is extremely fast with lots of skills and would seem to fit into Rafa’s style of playing on the counter-attack.

Like most young players he is also not very consistent.

Adama has played for all the Spanish youth sides – including two appearances for the Spanish U21 side.

But there seems a good chance Rafa would be interested in the youngster especially with the success Rafa had in getting the best out of Robert Kenedy – the 23-year-old Brazilian.

Rafa may want to take the Spaniard on loan to see how he does – but it would be essential to get an option to buy clause in the loan contract,

The Newcastle manager could also put in a straight transfer offer for Traore.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has been able to bring out the talents of the 22-year-old last season.

In two seasons on Teesside, Adama has played 71 times with 5 goals and 13 assists.

The transfer fee could be close to £10M or even higher in these wild times of ridiculous transfer fees in football.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


Jack Farish is currently studying for a Master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Northumbria University.

His thesis project looks at Premier League fans’ team identification – how well they support and identify with their team.

Jack has put together a relatively short questionnaire of team identification and satisfaction with life; it should take no longer than 10 minutes.

You can help Jack by filling out the survey here.

16 comments so far

  • Munster Mag

    May 28, 2018 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #1

    Possibly more…

  • Munster Mag

    May 28, 2018 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #2

    But yes I wud want him. Pace dictates so much in a counter attacking team and it seems that’s what Rafa is building

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 28, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #3

    Runs into a lot of culdesacks. But wouldn’t say no.

  • Jib

    May 28, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #4

    This is more like a Rafa signing
    Learned his trade in a proper Spanish academy

  • willowdalerez

    May 28, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #5

    2 comments on Mrabti (from previous). 1 Upbeat, 1 cynical and downbeat.

    First, his transfer fee may be artificially low because his team know they’re going to lose him on a free in January if they don’t sell him now. If they had him locked up for another 2-3 years they might easily get more (closer to 5m in this market). They are probably just thinking get something for him now and 1-2m probably goes a long way in that league.

    Second, after the disappointment of the last 3 transfer windows I’d rather keep my expectations low with the possibility of being pleasantly surprised than get all upbeat (like some on here… Bobbybee and co.) who seem to believe Ashley will be a born again owner under the tutelage of (and “necessity” of keeping) Rafa. So I’d reword the following sentence from Ed’s article on the player from:

    “Newcastle transfer target Kerim Mrabti may be one of the early transfers Rafa is able to close for Newcastle this summer.”


    “Newcastle transfer target Kerim Mrabti may be one of ONLY early transfers Rafa is able to close for Newcastle this summer.”

    Think on it, that’s not an unreasonable assumption if the last 3 windows are anything to go on.

  • Bobbybee

    May 28, 2018 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #6

    Here’s another Rafa could transform from headless chicken to superstar. So far he lacks end product but that can surely be worked on? For just raw pace and ball skill he’s right up there. Just that end product missing. Depending on price, might be worth looking at.

    Munster, ask me if I give one about people on here mate? Probably never even seen SJP. 🙂

    Magscar, we’re in agreement mate. Nobody LIKES Ashley, nor is there a need to. Would we change him? Christ, yes! Can we? No.
    I think people think if you don’t slag him off 24/7 you must be happy with him. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I just refuse to get stressed out about him because I can’t change anything.
    Sadly, some people hate Ashley more than they love Newcastle. In my honest opinion, if you allow one man to come between you and Newcastle, you’re sad. Nobody could EVER stop me supporting the lads. Even being in the second division couldn’t do that.
    Owners come and go. You can never have everything you want in life. If somebody could come up with a way of removing him, I would be all ears. Unlike most whiners, I attended anti Ashley marches. Publicised widely and three hundred turned up. Where were they? Probably sat behind a keyboard giving it large. 🙂

  • hibbit

    May 28, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #7

    seen quite a bit of this lad this season and he does tend to blow hot and cold
    when he’s good he can be very good but he has a lot of games were he just doesn’t get started
    drives Pullis mad at times
    can Rafa bring him on to to be more consistent i think he can
    i think boro are looking for 20m plus for him and i’m not sure we would or could stretch that far for him though !!!

  • Moonraker15

    May 28, 2018 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #8

    We’ve got plenty of “prospects” ! What we need for next season if we are to kick on, is proven quality. We probably only need a striker, a 10 and a fullback plus get Kenedy on loan again but please no more promising Spaniards at the moment. I’d go all out to get Grealish aa I really think he would be strong in the Premiership!

  • OneAlanShearer

    May 28, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #9

    If it’s Kenedy or this lad….It’s Kenedy all day long. I’m just hoping rafa is given enough to build a squad he trusts. For that to happen if expect to see a lot of outgoings so those are equally important to see happening as early as possible.

  • hibbit

    May 28, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #10

    by what i’ve read Grealish would be a bit of a wild card,
    even in todays papers AV are hanging a 30m price tag on him, would we pay that much ???

  • Bobbybee

    May 28, 2018 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #11

    Willow, where have I said that? Ashley’s Ashley. I doubt he’ll ever change. All I ever ask of any owner is to speculate to accumulate. Put money in because success breeds success and success brings profit.
    I simply don’t care who owns us, because history has taught me a harsh lesson – we attract greedy owners.
    I don’t whine continuously about Ashley simply because I have better things to do. My whining will change nothing.
    People need to look around. Not many fans are happy with their owner. Even Chelsea morons are turning on Roman ffs, because he can’t match City. 🙂
    What happens behind the scenes I leave to others, because it’s out of my hands. All I honestly care about is match days and watching us play. That’s when I come alive. There’s nothing like being in that crowd when the atmosphere is buzzing and the ball hits the back of the net. Ecstasy. And when that happens, I guarantee not one single person in the 50k crowd of Mags is even thinking about Ashley.
    So, do I like him? No. I can’t stand him. I can’t make that any clearer. He’s rude and arrogant and everything about the mega rich I despise.
    Is he capable of change? No idea. Maybe he will, because it makes business sense, but I won’t hold my breath. But he has zero effect on why I support Newcastle.
    So I like the owners of Sky TV? No, but I buy their product. Ashley is temporary, Newcastle is forever. You can love one without the other, it really isn’t that hard.

  • willowdalerez

    May 28, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Agree completely with OneAlanShearer on this go for Kenedy if we can ony get one or the other (problem is Kenedy may not be up for sale… Chelski seem to like the idea of loaning him out so Rafa can groom him to a finished product for their squad).

    We have Murphy so this would be good competition at Left Winger… I’d be happy but wouldn’t pay more than 10m. Rafa needs to bring in at least one proven and one promising striker and that must be majority of the money. Hell how’s he’s even going to get one “proven” striker with only 50 m in this market is beyond me when we are hearing the likes of of 20+ for Grealish!!!

  • willowdalerez

    May 28, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #13

    Right winger

  • magscar

    May 28, 2018 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #14

    Both Boro and Villa have to look to refund their next season and have to capitilise on their “best” assets. Fee for both is excessive. Whilst both would perhaps attract lower PL clubs and newly promoted ( as happened with Traore moving from Villa to Boro as they were relegated) I feel any links to us are as usual newspaper talk.

    Traore had PL experience with Villa and Boro and sometimes caught the eye but very poor on final product. Perhaps Rafa could work on him but at £20M we are looking at a player who has to go straight into our matchday squad not just be one for the future – not sure at all.

    Grealish has a good game on Saturday and has been impressing lately but Jayphoto was saying a week or go so that he stiil has an attitude problem. At that price and potential effect on squad not for me.

    We are still at a stage ( and will be for a while) where smart spending is a priority. Many more links to come before we see something real 🙁

  • Bobbybee

    May 28, 2018 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #15

    Don’t draw me back on Ashley anyway, he’s occupied me enough for the rest of the year 🙂

    Decent game this play off. Coventry slightly on top but Exeter always a threat.
    Interesting stat from the commentator. McNulty of Coventry, who is off the top of my head on loan from Sheff Utd, but I stand to be corrected on that, has scored more goals than any other player in 2018. He does look far too good in this company like. He looks favourite to score by a distance.
    Hope Coventry win this. Big club, hopefully on their way back. First club in Britain to build an all seater stadium as I recall. I blogged with some whilst Arma was on loan there. Good lads. They have been through the mill.

  • magscar

    May 28, 2018 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #16


    I would guess I may be one of the upbeat “&Co” you referred to earlier.

    Football support is very different now than when the type of fan ( including himself) that Bobby describes started going. There was no Internet or even fanzines and discussion was with your mates before and after match and on terraces with others who stood around same area week in week out. There were often chants of “Sack The Board” in ground and outside main entrance – all to no avail of course because we didn’t have the power to sack anybody!

    Social media has arrived and now like other areas dominates Football and while being a force for good in widening and making communication easier it is also sometimes has a bad effect.

    If I recall correctly you are in the States ( or Canada) and are a lawyer ( sorry if I mix you up with other posters) I mention this as presumably you will have found it hard if not impossible to go to games so won’t appreciate that there are many Bobby’s around and his is very much a reality support through many difficult times ( far more than good). Forged in this style makes you a certain kind of fan not a better one just different.

    Room for all types but these type of fans are the ones who although called “sheep” by some through the Ashley years are actually a very big reason why Rafa is still here and why Ashley is actually being forced to face some unwelcome facts about the way forward. Getting through the hard times that we have experienced does often require a disconnect from ownership because the club is what we are supporting and always have.

    I often wonder if there had been social media back in 70’s and 80’s would there have been any sooner change than brought about by John Hall. I suspect not because without money, protest in or out of ground or on Blogs doesn’t change owners.

    I still retain the odd romantic notion about the world even at my age but definitely not about Football Club owners. Ashley will never completely change I suspect but can be bent to some degree and that is Rafa’s game


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