Football Insider reported last week that the Whites have approached Wolves over a potential deal for the 26-year-old, as they want to sign a ‘pacey forward capable of carrying the ball forward long distances’.
Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta is said to be a ‘big admirer’ of the Spain winger, having negotiated a deal to take him from Aston Villa to Middlesbrough in 2016. Traore only has a year remaining on his contract at Molineux and talks over an extension have broken down, so Wolves are willing to sell if they receive an offer in the region of £18m.
The Spaniard spent the second half of last season on loan at La Liga giants Barcelona, but they have decided against a permanent deal.
O’Rourke suspects that Leeds supporters would be thrilled by a deal for Traore, a player who ‘gets fans off their seats’, adding that the Whites may have a ‘world beater’ on their hands if Jesse Marsch can extract the 26-year-old’s best form.
The journalist told GiveMeSport: “I think the fans will be really excited about Traore. We all know he’s a bit inconsistent, Traore, but on his day he can be a world-beater.
“He gets fans off their seats with his direct style, and his fast, attacking style of football that he does play. I think if Leeds can get the best out of Traore, he could be a great signing.”
Traore certainly ticks plenty of boxes for Leeds. He ranked joint-second in last season’s Premier League (along with Mohamed Salah) for highest top speed recorded, clocking 36.6 km/h.
He also came in at 11th among players with at least three top-flight starts for progressive carrying distance per 90 minutes (via FBRef). Meanwhile, only Allan Saint-Maximin (4.3) averaged more successful dribbles per 90 minutes than Traore (4.2), so the Spaniard truly can be an electrifying player to watch.
While he may not have entirely convinced Barcelona, he did register assists in two of the four La Liga games that he started.
Leeds may need a replacement for exit-linked Raphinha, and Traore could be a reasonably-priced candidate to fill that void.
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