Adama Traore has been linked with a move to Liverpool but his former manager Tony Pulis thinks he should “settle down” at Wolves and aim for the Spain squad.
Barcelona youth product Traore has enjoyed a fantastic 2019-20 at Wolves, where he has scored four goals and supplied seven assists in the Premier League while playing primarily as a wing-back under Nuno Espirito Santo.
The 24-year-old, with whom Pulis retains a good relationship following their time together at Middlesbrough, is reportedly wanted by league leaders Liverpool, plus Manchester City and Manchester United.
Former Stoke City boss Pulis believes Traore should be looking to lay down roots at Molineux and focus on breaking into the Spain set-up ahead of Euro 2020, which will be held next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pulis told Stats Perform News: “I think Adama always had the ability to play. The big thing was his confidence. I think I probably caught him at the right time. He had gone and worked for a few managers who weren’t enamoured enough to play him on a regular basis.
“I obviously knew him as a West Brom manager watching [Aston] Villa, watched him in the reserves a few times. His pace and balance was just extraordinary.
“Going to Middlesbrough, he wasn’t in the team when I got there but I wanted to make him a focal point of the team. We did that and the biggest thing with him is that he grew in confidence and he started to believe in himself.
“I made him my best friend. He used to come in and make me a cup of coffee after lunch and we would sit down and watch videos. He became a friend and he knew he’d be first pick on the team sheet. And the team understood what we could get from him and what we couldn’t. Having said that, as the season progressed, he learned the other side of the game [defensive] well as well.
“You meet people in life who are really, really good people, and Adama is a really good person. You hope and pray those people get everything out of life that they possibly can.
“He’s gone to Wolves – we didn’t want to get rid of him at Middlesbrough, but the only problem was the finances… He went to the right club, stepped up and has murdered it.
“I think he can only get better. His temperament and personality is first class. His next step, I speak to him now and then, his next step is to get a place in the Spanish side.
“I’ll be quite content for him, and I said this to him, to settle down. He seems happy at Wolves. He’s playing under a manager that’s confident with him and gives the respect Adama needs
“But Adama’s big challenge is seeing if he can get a place in the Spanish team and keep it.”
During his time at the Riverside, Pulis did not enjoy the same sort of relationship with striker Martin Braithwaite, whom he is surprised to see now playing at LaLiga champions Barcelona.
“He was completely different to Adama in personality. Different traits as a player. I never thought Braithwaite wanted to be at Middlesbrough although he signed a contract,” said Pulis.
“He spent more time telling me that he wanted to leave than be at the club. In the end I hope and pray that the club got a good price for him because they paid a lot for him. They certainly paid him an enormous amount of money wages-wise, it was just extraordinary.