Another day and another player or two linked with Newcastle United.
As well as Italian media reporting Rafa Benitez is allegedly in talks with former assistant Fabio Pecchia to bring Romulo to St James Park, the press in England claim a signing could be possible from only 30 miles down the road.
Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore looks to be the perfect candidate for being described as a ‘raw talent’, or headless chicken if you prefer.
The 21 year old has bags of potential and pace to burn – but little end product so far.
With 37 appearances in the Premier League so far, Adama Traore has managed no goals and only two assists.
However, those stats are a little misleading.
Aston Villa splashed the cash in summer 2015 and a 19 year old Traore was one of those who arrived. The winger had came through the youth levels at Barcelona but had made only one appearance in La Liga before moving to England. Signed for £7m plus additional money based on hitting targets, Barcelona also insisted on a buy-back clause if the player proved successful, something Barca are increasingly insisting on when selling young players.
Maybe little wonder Adama Traore struggled to make an impact as Villa were relegated as one of the worse ever Premier League teams, the 19 year old getting zero starts in the league and only 10 brief sub appearances totalling 184 minutes. He managed no goals and only one assist.
Moving on to Middlesbrough for reportedly a similar £7m fee, Adama Traore managed more games but found himself at another struggling team.
Set up in a very negative formation, Boro were the lowest scorers (27 goals) but Adama Traore was the bright spark in their team when given the chance. He got 16 starts and 11 sub appearances but once again returned only one assist and no goals in the league.
He is a player who could go one of two ways but if he can add an end product to his high energy game and dribbling ability, he would be an asset to any team.
Chelsea were reported to be interested in Traore during the season and West Ham are widely reported to have made an approach to Middlesbrough, with The Mail now claiming that Newcastle United have also done the same.
Whilst Newcastle have got a solid looking squad that won the Championship, it did at times certainly appear to lack a wildcard player who could run at the opposition and open them up via pace and dribbling. Now stepping up to the Premier League that kind of addition is very much needed in my opinion, just as we need at least one quality striker to play with/compete with Dwight Gayle, somebody with different strengths to the current number nine.
It was always going to be tough in this transfer window with so many clubs having cash to spend and needing to buy somebody, so Newcastle’s current standing will mean risks taken in some way – whether it is older players, ones with a suspect injury record, or indeed those who have achieved little so far but have clear potential.
In this crazy market, a transfer fee as high as £15m has been speculated for Adama Traore and at some point this summer you feel that these kind of risks will have to be taken.
Which players and at what price we are hopefully going to find out soon, with it being 50 days now until the Premier League kicks off and only 10 days until Newcastle’s pre-season training begins.
Earlier this month, writing for the Teesside Gazette, Middlesbrough journalist Jonathon Taylor picked his best north east eleven of the past 12 months and perfectly summed up where Adama Traore currently stands:
Left midfield: Christian Atsu (Newcastle)
The 25-year-old spent the season on loan from Chelsea, and made a decent impression during the season – chipping in with five goals.
The Ghanaian probably just edges out livewire Adama Traore due to his end product, with former Boro target Yoan Gouffran perhaps unfortunate to miss out too.
Victor Valdes, Jamaal Lascelles, DeAndre Yedlin, Didier Ndong, Marten de Roon, Adama Traore, Dwight Gayle