Nolito backs Traore to bring La Liga back if Wolves star continues to impress in Premier League


Former Manchester City striker Nolito believes Wolves star Adama Traore could come back to life in La Liga if his Premier League form continues.

Sportsmail Revealed earlier this week, Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is set to raid his former club with an offer for the wide man valued at £ 45million.

The 25-year-old also raised the prospect of a return to Barcelona in June before playing just 13 minutes for Spain’s semi-finalists at Euro 2020.

Celta Vigo star Nolito

Wolves star Adama Traore would fit in with any side that wants him, ex-Manchester City striker Nolito says

But Celta star Vigo Nolito – who will face Traore when the Spanish side face the West Midlands club in a pre-season friendly on Saturday – believes his compatriot has the quality to play for the club which heightens his interest.

“To be honest he’s still young and has a lot of potential,” former Barcelona striker Nolito said exclusively Sportsmail.

“Can he play in La Liga? Of course he can, if he keeps playing good seasons in the Premier League I’m sure he could play in La Liga or with any team that wants to.

Asked whether Traore was underutilized by Spain boss Luis Enrique this summer, Nolito remained coy, adding: “There is a lot of competition in the Spanish national team and a lot of very good players. Sometimes you play and other times you don’t.

Traore is interested in Tottenham and raised possibility of joining Barcelona in June

Traore is interested in Tottenham and raised possibility of joining Barcelona in June

“They have the best players in Spain and Europe and some of the best in the world at their posts, so it’s very difficult to play in the first XI and play for the national team.”

Nolito, 34, was a key member of Spain at Euro 2016, but the former Sevilla star has not represented his country since a 2-2 draw with England in November of the same year .

However, he hasn’t given up hope of representing his country at Qatar’s World Cup next year – six years after his last appearance for La Roja – despite encouraging performances this summer from a generation of older players. youth.

“Anything can happen in football. Everything is possible. Dreams are there to capture them and make them real.

Nolito - who will face Traore in Celta's friendly against Wolves - last played for Spain in 2016

Nolito – who will face Traore in Celta’s friendly against Wolves – last played for Spain in 2016

“When I was a kid I never could have dreamed that I would play in Barcelona with [Pep] Guardiola, [Lionel] Messi and [David] Villa, with Dani Alves, Xavi and [Andres] Iniesta.

“I have also played in Euros, in the Champions League, in the Premier League and in the Portuguese league. I made my dreams come true, so why can’t I play the World Cup?

“Of course, it’s going to be very difficult, there is a lot of competition, but who knows? Maybe this year I score a lot, a lot of goals and Luis Enrique calls me in the national team.

“It’s hard but who knows? No one knows what is going on in life. It can be both positive and negative.

That statement of not knowing exactly what the game has in store for you next seems especially true for former Nolito Sevilla teammate Jules Kounde.

But the 34-year-old hasn't given up hope of making Luis Enrique's World Cup squad.

But the 34-year-old hasn’t given up hope of making Luis Enrique’s World Cup squad.

Chelsea are still in talks with the Andalusian side over a deal for the French center-back, and Nolito admits the increased interest from European giants like Arsenal and Manchester United is deserved as the “sky is the limit” for the player 22 years old.

‘I’m not surprised [about the interest], I think he’s a good player, “added Nolito.

“He’s a really nice guy, he wants to improve and he’s a great professional and he’s still very young.

‘The sky is the limit for him. Normally there are no limits in these things, the majority try to improve as much as they can. I know him and I’ve spent time with him, and I know he wants to improve.

“He’s a great center-back so I’m not surprised that big European clubs are looking to sign him, but he’s at a big club right now.”

Nolito also insisted that

Nolito also insisted ‘the sky is the limit’ for Chelsea target and Sevilla defender Jules Kounde

However, Nolito’s current club Celta have plenty of examples in their ranks of players who have struggled – for one reason or another – to rise to the level of the European giants.

Iago Aspas has only scored once in 15 games in his first and only season at Liverpool before just two La Liga goals for Sevilla in 2014-15, while injury issues and the competition for places have continued. barred Denis Suarez from appearing at Arsenal and Barcelona from Unai Emery.

Meanwhile, Nolito only made five appearances for the Catalan side and then struggled to adjust to the English language and culture.

He also criticized City boss Pep Guardiola for the lack of confidence he showed in himself after bringing him to the Premier League as his second signing for the club.

But the trio have now found their home in Galicia’s largest city on Spain’s northwest coast, which the forward described as “the best times” of his career due to the confidence he and his teammates have experienced at the club.

Nolito is set to enter his second year in his second stint at Celta alongside Iago Aspas (right)

Nolito is set to enter his second year in his second stint at Celta alongside Iago Aspas (right)

“Aspas is from this region, he is at home and he regretted that at Liverpool and Sevilla he maybe didn’t have the time to play there that he would have liked.

“Players play well when they have the confidence and confidence of the coach and they have the time to play. There are big clubs like Liverpool and Sevilla where there is more competition. True, that is to be expected.

“The same thing probably happened with Denis Suarez in Barcelona. In my case, I’m grateful to all the clubs I’ve played for, but I really have to say Celta is where I’ve had the best moments of my career.

Nolito believes the club's confidence has helped him and Denis Suarez (left) thrive

Nolito believes the club’s confidence has helped him and Denis Suarez (left) thrive

This is Nolito’s second stint at Celta after a three-year stint before his move to City, and the only change from himself he sees is “I’m getting older”. But it is clear that the burning desire remains to take advantage of the return to the club.

“I felt the warmth of the club, the president, the fans and the results were also good for me here. I have to value that, and whether I stay or leave, in the end, I have to say that the Celta is the club of my life.

“I will be eternally grateful for what the club has given me, and I will try to give something back to the club through personal sacrifice and hard work on the pitch.

“I’m here to help Celta grow, it’s my club right now and it’s the club I love, it’s the one I liked the most of all the clubs I’ve been for This is where I really have fun.

And the former City forward described the Galician outfit as

And the former City forward described the Galician outfit as “the club of my life”

Nolito joined Celta last summer when the club almost paid the ultimate collective sacrifice with relegation from La Liga, finishing just one point above Leganes who held last place in the drop zone.

But the foundations seemed to have been in motion to enable a “humble, hardworking and ambitious team” to grow into a team capable of replicating their accomplishments of four years ago.

Celta reached the Europa League semi-finals in 2016-17 ahead of Jose Mourinho’s loss to Manchester United, and was one step away from adding to their European history this season.

But Nolito – who has scored seven goals and collected six assists in 2020-21 – is confident Celta can aim higher than finishing eighth this season under Eduardo Coudet, despite the financial advantages some Spanish clubs have over them.

“Maybe the ultimate goal is to finish in the top seven,” he added.

He hopes his team can qualify for the Europa League, as they did when they faced Manchester United in 2017

He hopes his team can qualify for the Europa League, as they did when they faced Manchester United in 2017

“There are teams that will go for these places because of their budget, but Celta is a very ambitious team, a team that works hard with a very humble mentality and we will fight until the end.

‘It won’t be easy. We are trying to make sure that our fans, our families and we, the players, can enjoy these games, but we have to be focused game by game. Hope we can do well.

“We have great players like Aspas, Denis Suarez, Santi Mina, other players who may not have had the continuity at Celta in the last two years that they would have liked.

“But we are a humble, hardworking and ambitious team, we want to grow as a team. Sometimes things don’t go the way we would like, or the way the team would like.

“But all we can do is get down on our knees, work hard and do our job and be aware of our reality as a club.”

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