As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Karanka: Wolves ace Traore can be Spain Euros star; I made him nervous at Middlesbrough!

Former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is backing Wolves winger Adama Traore to have a big Euros with Spain.

Karanka wrote for The Sun: "When he came to us at Boro, he had had a difficult time at Aston Villa where he struggled to adapt to life in Birmingham and had troubles with injuries.

"The first thing to do was create a relationship with him and then it was more about tactics and trying to fix the mistakes he was making.

"I had to try to teach him the right movements and where he should be when we lost the ball, while being careful not to stop his ability going forward.

"I spent a lot of time with him in my office with the tactics board working on things.

"He was surprised because after a few meetings I didn't say anything. I told him, 'Look, I am tired because I'm always teaching you. Tell me where you should be'.

"And he knew everything, he went to the board and explained it all. He knew what he should do — but he didn't do it in the games.

"I always had Adama next to me on the pitch and I would tell him what he should do.

"One day Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo came to my office and said, 'Look gaffer, we are feeling that Adama is a little bit concerned because you are always behind him.

"'Can you give him freedom? Because you know sometimes he's looking at you and we are losing his creativity.'

"But it was part of the process for him. He improved more and then he started to take the right decisions.

"Before, he would do amazing things and then he would lose the last pass or he would shoot when he didn't need to.

"As for his amazing physicality, he didn't work on it because he likes his body but because he knew the work he did was helping him improve as a football player.

"Adama continued to improve under Tony Pulis and then with Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves, who helped him become so versatile.

"Now he can play on the wing, in a front two and wing-back in a back five.

"It makes him so important to Spain, whether they start him or use him as a weapon off the bench."

Video of the day:

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free
×

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free