Goosebumps one minute and wayward thumps the next, Adama Traore is an enigma that none of us will forget.
Spray-on kit, peroxide flash of light and 0-60 speeds like a 911, he was impossible to ignore from the moment he arrived.
He was a Porsche Carrera when motoring from deep and so often a Ford Capri at the vital moment, misfiring unfathomably / unluckily <delete as appropriate> with the onion bag beckoning.
I’m going to miss Adama Traore massively, precisely for that maddening ability to endear and infuriate in equal measure. If he was like Forrest Gump then it wasn’t so much his blistering running, but more the fact you never knew what you were going to get next.
A skill-set like his has surely never been seen in old gold before, nor has a pretty unassuming bloke polarised opinion quite like he, with some of my most placid of friends spewing bile-filled hate whenever his name was mentioned. The genuine anger, in my opinion, was as misplaced as a whole heap of his crosses.
Should he not have been embraced more for fashioning such opportunities in the first place, or ruining regimented formations simply by his presence? For some, that was never enough and on a goals / assists ratio, I understand.
I just loved Adama Traore and I’m going to bloody miss him. His willingness to try things when his confidence must have been low (from constant reminders of his outputs) took repeated levels of bravery / stupidity <delete as appropriate>. And in this safety first world we struggle to make sense of, Traore was the perfect antidote, never opting for the easy option and always doing something to get us out of our seats. For the years of McIndoe, Forde, Saville, Rowe and co, watching our incredible hulk in action was like medicine for my soul.
As cult heroes go, he is etched in my top three, sandwiched between Steve Bull and Chris Iwelumo, precisely because he was never scared to put himself about like those two other heroes of mine either.
I’ve never heard audible gasps quite like the ones when our number 37 either embarked on a run or entered the fray from the bench with those big bursting jumps onto the pitch. It was just a shame his outputs so frequently failed to match the expectation.
With his contract dwindling down and his boyhood club beckoning, it was clearly time to let go. And using a ‘Moneyball’ approach to the game, I get it. His stats just didn’t stack up. But from a gut feel, you sense he might just raise his outputs to ‘half decent’ and there’s a highlights reel thicker than his biceps. I guess that’s the unique weighing scales that so many managers keep putting him on. For the second time in his career, he’s tipping the balance in Barcelona.
I’ve no doubt that a career defining moment is up ahead for Adama Traore and it’s sad we won’t see it in a Wolves shirt. In keeping with the Adama anomaly, a Ronnie Rosenthal miss is as likely as a solo strike in the Maracana. And isn’t that the joy of the Beautiful Game right there?
Either way, life always was a box a chocolates with our Adama and for all those orange cream moments – and occasional peanut cracknell in between – I thank him for tingling the taste buds.