Jurgen Klopp has singled out winger Adama Traore for praise after Liverpool’s narrow 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Reds extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 40 games, just nine short of Arsenal’s record, but they were made to work for it.
Jordan Henderson gave Klopp’s side a first-half lead but Raul Jimenez equalised, after linking up with Traore. However, Roberto Firmino won the game for Liverpool slightly against the run of play to keep their lead at the top of the table at 16 points.
Klopp praises Traore: Five things to know…
- Liverpool beat Wolves 2-1 at Molineux to move 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
- The Reds also extended their unbeaten run in the competition to 40 games.
- But it wasn’t easy for Liverpool with Firmino scoring an 84th-minute winner after Jimenez had cancelled out Henderson’s opener.
- Klopp hailed Wolves for the test they gave Liverpool but singled out Traore.
- The Spaniard recorded his seventh Premier League assist of the season against Liverpool.
At times this season, Liverpool have looked unbeatable but Wolves caused the Reds serious problems across the pitch and were unfortunate not to get at least a point from the game.
And Klopp admitted he had to change his gameplan a few times on the night to try and get the better of a Wolves side that have been so impressive under Nuno Espirito Santo.
“We changed the system two or three times, we calmed it down,” he told reporters.
“We had incredible chances in the first half and then at the end, it was a magic moment from Bobby.
“The boys are human. It was a little bit up and down. We had discussion on the pitch, there was stuff to improve but set-pieces can bring us back in the game, a good bit of skill can bring us back in the game. Wolves were really strong but it’s clear we could settle again.
“You just have to find a way to win and have someone who makes the perfect decision and that was Bobby again.”
But one Wolves player who stood out more than the rest was Traore, with the Spaniard continuing his improvement this season.
First moving to the Premier League with Aston Villa in 2015, Traore was full of pace, technical ability and potential. But he struggled with the Villans and Middlesbrough, unable to add end product to his game.
It was a similar case when he first joined Wolves but something has clicked this season. On top of his Premier League-high 129 completed take-ons, Traore has added four goals and seven assists, including one of the latter against Liverpool. Only Kevin De Bruyne (15) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (10) have recorded more assists in the Premier League this season than Traore.
And Klopp made certain to single out Traore, labelling him “unplayable”.
“He is unplayable in moments, it’s unbelievable,” he said. “What a player – it’s not only him but he’s so good.”
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Traore “ready” for big Premier League move
Klopp is not the only one to have praised Traore recently. The Spaniard came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, eventually turning out for their B team, where he was coached by former Spain midfielder Eusebio Sacristan.
Eusebio was one of many that may have been frustrated by Traore’s decision making early in his career, but the Spaniard believes the winger can now use his negative experiences to move upwards.
“When they start so young and look like a brilliant player so soon, it looks like their development gets stopped but it doesn’t,” he told Goal.
Adama Traoré in the Premier League this season:
🅰️ vs. Crystal Palace
⚽️⚽️ vs. Man City
🅰️ vs. Aston Villa
🅰️ vs. Bournemouth
⚽️ vs. Spurs
⚽️🅰️ vs. Man City
🅰️🅰️ vs. Southampton
🅰️ vs. Liverpool
Super Saiyan. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0O5axIrrb0
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 23, 2020
“All players need to reach a point of maturity. He is in a great moment now, but he kept improving himself and his qualities to reach his best possible level.
“I think he is ready for the jump to a big Premier League club, but I am convinced as well that he needed to take this road, this process, to reach that level.”