Adama Traore is the fastest man in football and can be “almost unstoppable” if he sharpens up minor imperfections, according to former team-mate Carles Gil.
Former Barcelona youngster Traore is tearing up the Premier League with Wolves after first finding his feet in English football with Aston Villa, where he and Gil played together and became friends.
Traore, now 24, has been linked with the likes of Premier League champions-elect Liverpool, a mark of his rapid progress since joining Wolves in 2018 from Middlesbrough, his second English club.
Gil believes there has never been a quicker footballer than Traore. Famously, Usain Bolt attempted to forge a football career after quitting athletics, but the men’s 100-metre record holder could not make the grade.
“He is a phenomenon,” Gil, who now plays for the New England Revolution, told Stats Perform News.
“You will see nothing similar with his characteristics: powerful, speed… no doubt, he is the quickest in the world.
“I have always talked to friends; I don’t know if there has been as quick a player ever. Because we all would know him. It is just insane.”
Gil recalled the 19-year-old Traore arriving at Villa in August 2015 and says the progress he has made in the years since has stood the player in good stead.
“He had to polish other things. People have helped him and now he is showing that, having those characteristics, he will make differences for sure,” said Gil.
“He still needs to improve little things, but he is called upon to make a difference.”
Traore has attempted 207 dribbles in the Premier League this season, Opta statistics show.
That puts him second only to Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha on 255.
However, Traore’s dribble success rate of 69.57 percent trounces Zaha’s 53.33%.
The pace and hustle of English football perhaps suits Traore better than La Liga, Gil suspects.
“Yes, possibly, it is true. English football is maybe a more physical game and he is outstanding in that aspect,” Gil said.
“It doesn’t matter where he is because he will be outstanding in terms of fitness.
“Tactically, it is maybe not as good [in English football]; there are more spaces, something which benefits him.
“He prefers to have three rivals, but having loads of space, [rather] than one-on-one or two-on-one in a little space. It is more complicated for him. That’s why maybe [English football] suits him better.
“Anyway, again, having those characteristics, if he improves other things, he is almost unstoppable