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Opinion

Adama Traore v Allan Saint-Maximin – The Verdict

2 weeks ago
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Adama Traore had earlier experienced Premier League football briefly with Middlesbrough but it was the 2018/19 season when the Spanish winger really got people’s attentions.

Promoted Wolves finishing seventh in the top tier and the very quick but raw exciting winger grabbing the eye, a refreshing change to the typical Premier League play it safe midfielder / wide man. The big minus though, was a lack of end product with only one goal and one assist, something that would come with time.

The next season (2019/20) saw Adama Traore step it up, same pace and skills but four Premier League goals and nine assists. Looking more the complete player as Wolves once again finished seventh.

Last season though we also saw the introduction of Allan Saint-Maximin to the Premier League, a player looking very much in the same mould as Adama Traore AND on a similar career path. Loads of excitement and promise shown by Allan Saint-Maximin but only three Premier League goals and four assists – not a terrible end product but certainly one with plenty room for improvement to end up matching his dribbling skills.

Moving up to date and despite an injury affected campaign, Allan Saint-Maximin getting an assist and goal at Burnley on Sunday to make it three PL goals and four assists for the season so far. Meanwhile, down at Wolves, only one goal and one assist in the league for Adama Traore so far this season.

So how do the two players compare?

Here are their playing records in the Premier League for Wolves and Newcastle respectively:

Adama Traore

2018/19 – 1 goal and 1 assist (8 starts and 21 sub appearances – 890 minutes)

2019/20 – 4 goals and 9 assists (27 starts and 10 sub appearances – 2,605 minutes)

2020/21 – 1 goal and 1 assist (22 starts and 8 sub appearances – 2,137 minutes)

Complete PL record (for Wolves) – 6 goals and 11 assists (57 starts and 39 sub appearances – 5,632 minutes)

Allan Saint-Maximin

2019/20 – 3 goals and 4 assists (23 starts and 3 sub appearances – 1,874 minutes)

2020/21 – 3 goals and 4 assists (12 starts and 6 sub appearances – 1,014 minutes)

Complete PL record (for Wolves) – 6 goals and 8 assists (35 starts and 9 sub appearances – 2,888 minutes)

Conclusions

Adama Traore has been involved directly in 17 goals, at an average of a goal or an assist every 331 PL minutes.

ASM has been involved directly in 14 goals, at an average of a goal or an assists every 206 minutes.

The French winger clearly more end product compared to Traore with Wolves.

Adama Traore has been talked about as moving on to bigger and better things, with Allan Saint-Maximin even seen as his natural successor at Wolves!

Traore has even got five games for Spain these past six months having caught the eye of his national side.

Adama Traore is 25 and 14 months older than 24 year old Allan Saint-Maximin.

Traore also having had the benefit of playing in a side playing a lot of good football in finishing seventh in each of the past two seasons, whilst ASM having to play under Steve Bruce’s supervision…not so great this season at Wolves but they are still currently 12th in the table, five places and six points above Newcastle United.

Verdict

I think Adama Traore is maybe just a shade quicker than Allan Saint-Maximin in a straight sprint and whilst both are tricky on the ball, ASM is definitely the better dribbler, especially in tight situations.

ASM has also been handicapped in having to play under a negative team boss such as Steve Bruce and in a weaker team, so to still have had this impact is in the French winger’s favour.

I think both players need to show more of an end product if they are to fulfil their potential and match their approach play.

In my opinion though, it is Allan Saint-Maximin who is now on more of an upward curve and has the greater likely potential to do more in the seasons to come.

With that of course comes attention from elsewhere and in interviews already, Allan Saint-Maximin has already said he could be forced to move elsewhere if ambition is not shown at Newcastle United.

If I was another club and looking at the two players, it is ASM who I would be going for this summer. It could prove a bit of a case of long-term pain for short-term gain if ASM shows form in the last seven games like he did on Sunday at Burnley, with other clubs surely set to make approaches this summer.

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