Michael Kightly believes Wolves have a world beater on their hands in Adama Traore.
The Spanish flier destroyed Villa at times in Sunday’s 2-1 win, when he claimed another assist setting up Raul Jimenez’s 13th goal of the season.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo and his staff have spent hours on the training ground harnessing the 23-year-old’s blistering pace and adding to his game.
The results are there to see, with a slowed-down Traore now much more of a threat and contributing far more to the team, and in three positions at different times – wing back, winger and striker.
Former Wolves winger Kightly is convinced Traore could become a player top clubs will drool over. “He’s a real threat and if he can keep that confidence, he can be a world beater. He’s a big player for Wolves,” Kightly told www.wolvesbite.com
“I’ve played against him and his pace and power is as good as anyone in the league.
“He wasn’t playing too much when he came, but then I commentated on a game earlier on in the season and I thought he was the best player on the pitch.
“I feel like his delivery has got even better and I think that comes from confidence.
“He looks confident; every game I have commentated on, he’s been the one who looks like he’s going to do something and create something, score a goal or set one up.”
Kightly also starred in gold and black against Villa, equalising a Darren Bent strike with his penultimate Wolves goal at Molineux before Robbie Keane’s double sent Mick McCarthy’s side to a 3-2 defeat in January 2012.
But he reckons Traore can continue his improvement, and play in the Champions League.
“He’s one Wolves will want to keep hold of, but he could go again,” said the former winger, who retired in August.
“I think he could play in the Champions League, because you look at that Manchester City game, his pace was devastating and he put in two good finishes as well.
“Probably a year ago he might not have had that, so he’s got some composure to go with his pace and power.”
Traore has an excellent attitude and real willingness to learn and improve his game wherever he can – all things that will only help him become a better player.
“From what I hear, he works hard on the training pitch, he loves what he’s doing he’s got a great attitude and he’s only 23, so he’s really young and he’s only going to get better in my opinion,” agreed Kightly.
“He just needs to be managed right and his confidence needs to stay where it is now.”
As a confidence player himself, Kightly knows the value of having someone believe in you.
The 33-year-old is convinced keeping Traore positive mentally is going to continue to get the best out of him on the pitch.
“He’s had a really good upbringing in Barcelona. He was at a few clubs and didn’t really settle, but I think it’s important for a player like him to have a manager who believes in him,” he reflected.
“When he’s got that, he’s as good and as dangerous as anyone in the league.
“It’s getting that though. I look back at my career and when I had that confidence, I felt unplayable, and he’s a lot quicker and stronger than I was.
“If he can channel that and keep it, and have a good manager who can get that out of him, then I think he’s a top, top player.”
Kightly, who lives in Lichfield, still keeps in touch with the game by summarising for Wolves radio and TV and Burnley TV, while he recently made his debut for Wolves All Stars along with former team-mates Kevin Foley and Karl Henry.
As well as spending important family time with seven-year-old daughter Alexa and four-year-old son Leo, he intends keeping in touch with his old Molineux colleagues through playing for the All Stars, and is loving watching the current Wolves side too.
“I’ve been watching them a lot and doing a lot of commentary on them,” he added. “I did the Sky game against Newcastle and I’ve been doing a lot with the Under-23s, which I’m really enjoying, seeing the young talent come through.
“I think times are good at the moment, and they’re in a really good run of form, which is important and doing really well in Europe too.”