Bruno Lage: Adama Traore is not benched because of contract talks

Sun 07 November 2021 | 9:56

The Wolves boss backed his decision to bench the young winger against Crystal Palace.

Adama Traore

has struggled to find his best form in the current season. The former Barcelona winger is yet to register his first goal or assist as he spends the final year of his contract at Wolverhampton.

Traore was dropped from Wolves' starting lineup for their game against Crystal Palace this week. Bruno Lage's side were defeated 2-0 by the Eagles, but the Portuguese manager defended his decision to exclude Traore from the lineup. 

"That is the question every time. When you look for the starting team we want, every time we have to take decisions,"

Lage said.

"We play with Adama also against Leeds and we don't have the chances to go in the transition. OK, I understand your question and for sure we think about it.

"We try to understand the game and to find spaces to play with Rayan (Ait-Nouri) and Nelsen (Semedo) because they are in good positions. We try to see, especially from the back, if our midfielders come with the pressure or not and to also find Hwang Hee-chan and Francisco Trincao between the lines.

"After that, we go and attack the defensive line but for that, we need to have good decisions from the back and to find the spaces, so that is why when I look at the game, it wasn't a good performance."

Traore was a key player in Nuno Espirito Santo's counter-attacking system last season. The 25-year-old was linked with a move to Tottenham earlier this year. However, with Espirito Santo leaving the Spurs, there is little chance that Traore will join the north London side.

Lage insisted his lineup decisions are not affected by Traore's contract negotiations with the club.

"No, no, no. I don't know what happened before. But for sure I am 100 per cent free to take my decisions and that is my job,"

he added.

"The personality I have, I don't accept these kinds of things in my role. One thing is the contract and the other thing is my ideas. If I need him to play and to win games, I will put him in again."

Wolves will face West Ham in their first Premier League game after the international break on November 20.



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