Barcelona manager Xavi has heaped praise on new signing Adama Traore following the winger’s performance in the 4-2 win against Atletico Madrid.
The Catalan giants hosted Atleti at Nou Camp with both sides in the race to finish in the top 4. Barcelona started the night one point behind their opponents in the table and have now leapfrogged Atletico Madrid into 4th.
Traore, who was making his debut, was a menace throughout the night. The winger provided a trademark assist to Gavi in the 21st minute of the game, firing in a cross after some good work down the right flank.
Following the game, Xavi was asked about the winger’s performance. He said:
“Adama has matured a lot. And physically, he is a beast, a monster… In 1v1 situations, you cannot beat him. Adama is the perfect winger for me. I am convinced that he will be great for us.”
Barcelona have signed Traore on loan (with an option to buy) from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season.
The winger is a product of the Catalan club’s famed La Masia academy and is likely to push to make his deal permanent at the end of this campaign.
Xavi on Dembele issues “He is one more in the group”
French winger Ousmane Dembele made his return to the matchday squad having been omitted from the team for the last four games.
The Frenchman is currently in a stand-off with Barcelona over a new contract extension, with the club hierarchy publicly stating that they wanted him to leave during the January transfer window.
Dembele was an unused substitute in the win against Atletico Madrid, however, the winger was subjected to jeers and whistles from the Barcelona supporters throughout the game.
Xavi came to the defense of the winger, stating that he is still part of the team despite his current contract situation. He said:
“I would like to ask the fans to please stop whistling at Dembélé. He is one more in the group. I wanted to sub in Dembélé during the second half. However, Dani’s red card changed our plans. Anyhow, I please ask the fans to stop whistling at him.”