Adama Traore

(Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

AFCON wrap: Diaby’s sensational rip highlights trio of matches

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The Africa Cup of Nations said hello to six more competitors on Monday, with a thrilling goal amongst the eight tallied across the competitions in Egypt.

[ MORE: Copa America roundup ]


Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Two different men named Adama Traore — neither of them the Wolves winger — joined Moussa Marega on the score sheet but it’s difficult to describe the class and small margins that defined the tournament’s goal of the day.

Sporting Lisbon’s Abdoulay Diaby somehow got this shot off through two defenders and into the upper reaches of the goal to open the scoring in the three-goal win for Mali, which is having some summer when you take into account the U-20 World Cup.

Ivory Coast 1-0 South Africa

There were only 13 total attempts in the game, and Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodija scored the lone goal of a tournament opening win for Les Elephants.

Tunisia 1-1 Angola

A draw was probably fair, as Youssef Msakni’s first half penalty was met by Djalma Campos’ late goal to split the spoils in Group E.

Wolves 2-0 Southampton: Championship winners up to 8th

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  • Wolves scored 2 goals in the final 12 minutes
  • Rui Patricio made 6 saves
  • Wolves up to 8th in the Premier League table

Wolverhampton may be newly promoted, but teams already know not to take last year’s Championship winners lightly. It still didn’t matter.

The home side didn’t exactly have the greatest performance, but they held Southampton at bay and made the Saints pay down the stretch as substitute Ivan Cavaleiro scored just two minutes after entering the match, and Jonny earned his first Premier League goal to put the game away late.

It wasn’t pretty at times, but Wolves weathered moments of Southampton pressure to stay the course and earn three more points at Monlineux. Ivan Cavaleiro scored the winner on his Premier League debut having come on just two minutes later.

Wolves proved dangerous early on, as Ruben Neves took a pair of free-kicks in threatening positions inside the opening 10 minutes, and the latter produced an open header for defender Matthew Doherty but he put it harmlessly wide left.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Again Wolves had a big chance on the 10-minute mark as Helder Costa completely roasted a defender and picked out a run down the left, and while the cross was deflected, it fell right to Jonny who found himself unmarked on the penalty spot, but Alex McCarthy produced a spectacular save to deny the effort.

The home side continued to hound the Southampton midfield, bursting forward on numerous occasions and forcing the Saints defenders to foul them in the attacking third. Finally, Southampton began to build itself into the game past the 25-minute mark, and Joao Moutinho was lucky to get away without a caution after a sliding tackle through the back of Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Elyounoussi beat Jonny on a right-sided run, and was found by Nathan Redmond, but Rui Patricio came off his line to smother the chance. Southampton continued to grow, and Danny Ings just missed the top-right corner with an audacious curler from a good distance out. Neves had a half-chance on the break but put his shot from distance well wide left.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Neither team had another serious effort on net before the half, and after the break, the home side was the first to take the initiative. A Moutinho run drew a yellow card for Ryan Bertrand blocking him off, while Diogo Jota earned himself one seconds later for chopping down Mario Lemina.

Southampton remained the more assertive side after the break, but they wouldn’t produce much on net, and would be made to pay. With 12 minutes remaining, Wolves went in front thanks to the persistence of substitute Adama Traore and the unselfishness of Raul Jiminez. Traore, signed this summer from Middlesborough, burst down the right and beat two defenders in style. He worked space for a cross that found Jiminez on the doorstep, but with his back to net he chose a layoff to substitute Ivan Cavaliero who powered a bullet into the back of the net for a debut goal.

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McCarthy was required to keep the deficit at just one, denying Jiminez a bullet header with a stunning save as he dove to his right with the post bearing down. Unfortunately for the visitors, that second would come to put the game away. Doherty got past Stuart Armstrong all too easy down the right, and from that point he poked to Jonny on the doorstep who slid the ball through the legs of McCarthy for the second. Armstrong’s defending was a mess, leaving Southampton wide open.

That would draw curtains on the match, leaving Wolves with a less than stellar performance but a win nonetheless, pushing the newly promoted club all the way to eighth in the Premier League table with 12 points on the young season. Southampton, meanwhile, moves up one spot to 15th despite the loss thanks to Fulham’s poor showing at Goodison Park.

Wolves snatch Adama Traore for club record fee

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Newly promoted clubs continue to make noise this summer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have reportedly broken the club’s transfer record to sign dribbling wizard Adama Traore from Middlesbrough, according to the BBC. The report states Wolves triggered the $23 million release clause in his Middlesbrough contract that had two years remaining. That beats the club’s previous transfer record of just over $20 million for 21-year-old Ruben Neves from Porto last summer.

Wolves has already spent $57.8 million this transfer window, and adding Traore would only bolster the club’s vicious attack. They bagged 82 goals in 46 matches last season as they won the Championship, led by young Diogo Jota with 18 and 23-year-old Leo Bonatini with 12.

[ MORE: Smaller PL clubs continue to spend ]

Just 22 years old, Traore is already a massive outlier among dribblers at the top levels of the European game. In 32 Championship appearances last season, Traore attempted a MASSIVE 271 dribbles, completing 218 of them for an 80% completion rate. The year before that, in the Premier League, he completed a dribble every 20 minutes of playing time. In visual form:

While his passing needs plenty of work to make all those take-ons worth it, the young Spanish youth international is a bright talent who has Premier League experience at a young age.

More importantly, on a broader spectrum, the newly promoted clubs continue to spend and spend and spend. This transfer takes Wolves up to $82 million this summer, on par with Fulham’s nearly $90 million and well above Cardiff City’s $35 million.

Transfer rumor roundup: Mahrez to Man City, Boro duo to PL

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As Manchester United reportedly triggers a release clause for a new right back, plenty of Premier League peers are seeking new players of their own.

Across Manchester, Pep Guardiola may’ve claimed City won’t be spending big this summer but that doesn’t man the champions won’t be splashing some cash.

[ MORE: UEFA name squad of the season ]

The Mail says Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, 27, will cost Man City around $100 million when all is said and done.

The champions are closing in on a deal for Leicester City winger Mahrez, with director of football Txiki Begiristain edging closer to agreeing terms. The structure of the fee to be paid to Leicester is still being negotiated.

Mahrez is under contract with Leicester through the 2019-20 season, and the club and player suffered through a Man City transfer saga in January. Is it going to go through now?

Middlesbrough could not find its way back to the Premier League during the playoffs, and now could lose two of its prominent players to top flight survivors.

Ben Gibson, 24, earned an England call-up during Boro’s last stint in the Premier League, but stayed with the club after relegation.

That may end this month, with Southampton and Everton pushing hard for the $33 million rated back.

Boro could also lose ex-Barcelona man Adama Traore, who also stuck with the Smoggies after relegation. Newcastle is said to want to keep the Spaniard in the Northeast for around $20 million.

WhoScored’s highest rated player in the Championship, Traore originally cost Aston Villa around $9 million from Barca before moving to Boro.

That $53 million could bring in enough fire power to battle Stoke, Swans, West Brom, and the legion of other Championship teams aiming for promotion.

VIDEO: Gil, Traore team up for Premier League goal of season contender

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Aston Villa might be on the fast track to going down to the Championship for the first time, but this goal is one for the pages of its history book, too.

Adama Traore showed his Barcelona pedigree by dancing through the Sunderland midfield and sending a hip-level cross from right to left.

[ MATCH RECAP: Sunderland 3-1 Aston Villa ]

That’s where Carles Gil came in, pivoting to send a side volley across goal and past Vito Mannone in the most aesthetically pleasing of fashion.

Villa would go on to lose 3-1.