It was confirmed last summer that Newcastle ended their interest in Boro’s Adama Traore after becoming ‘off put’ by his £15m price tag – a decision the club may be living to regret given his rise to form recently.
Don’t get me wrong, the former Barcelona youth product has always seemed a raw talent, but his frightening pace and ability to beat his man at will was always there for all to see – even if he racked up just 1 assist in 32 appearances during Boro’s recent relegation season.
Remember reading that #NUFC were 'put off' by Middlesbrough's £15m asking price for Adama Traore over the summer..
Who knows what would've happened if we signed him, but he's come of age this season. I wonder if Rafa regrets not taking a chance on him
He's ridiculously talented pic.twitter.com/El0qGS3QkU
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) March 27, 2018
It was reported by the Chronicle last July (2017) that he had been discussed in transfer meetings at NUFC and both clubs were in talks, however our interest soon faded when they placed a £15m asking price on his head.
I can see why it may have seemed extortionate for a player whose final ball looked highly questionable, but his combination of pace, power and impressive dribbling stats remained incredibly impressive. He looked like the sort of high potential player who could thrive under Rafa’s watchful eye and attention to detail.
It looked like his future was going to be elsewhere, but Tony Pulis’ arrival on Teeside has very much changed that. He’s got the best out of the 22-year-old, with him delivering 5 goals, 3 assists and 4 man of the match performances in his last 11 appearances.
I’ve watched Middlesbrough a few times recently and to say Traore has been impressive is an understatement. Here’s a little clip of what he’s been doing (albeit in the second tier, but so so impressive):
I know it all seems easy to say in hindsight, but you have to question why we didn’t think he would be worth the gamble at £15m when we were happy to pay a fee rising to £12m for Jacob Murphy – a player who was by no means proven.
Maybe Rafa wondered if Traore was a team player (he runs with the ball so often), but his talent can’t be questioned and I watch him and wonder just how much of a weapon he could’ve been in our counter attacking set up.
Now he’s starting to show his undoubted talent, the fee of £15m we baulked at seems like a bargain and one Benitez may live to regret.