Thursday 3 December, 2020

Spain and Mali both want Wolves forward Adama Traore

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore, right, battles for the ball with West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna during their English Premier League football match at London Stadium, London, England, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (Andy Rain/Pool via AP).

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Adama Traore, right, battles for the ball with West Ham's Angelo Ogbonna during their English Premier League football match at London Stadium, London, England, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (Andy Rain/Pool via AP).

Spain and Mali both want Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Adama Traore to play for their national teams.

Spain coach Luis Enrique included Traore in his squad Friday for three upcoming matches, three days after Mali did the same.

Traore has said he wants to play for Spain and has been included on previous squad lists, but injuries and his recent infection with the coronavirus have kept him from playing — leaving him still free to play for Mali.

Because Traore has played for Spain at the youth and under-21 level, he would need FIFA permission to switch eligibility to Mali. FIFA said Friday that no request had been made to change Traore's international status.

Luis Enrique said he hopes Traore can make his debut for Spain, adding it was up to the player to decide which country he will play for.

“From what I know from talking to the player, he wants to play for Spain,” Luis Enrique said. “Any player who wants to play for another national team, that is not a problem. We have to respect the player’s opinion.”

Traore was born in Spain to parents from the African country.

Mali included him on the team announced on Tuesday for friendlies against Ghana on October 9 and Iran on October 13 to be played in Turkey.

Traore said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca in 2018 that he would prefer to play for Spain.

Teenager Ansu Fati will likely again play for Spain in the upcoming Nations League matches against Switzerland and Ukraine and the friendly against Portugal.

The 17-year-old Fati became Spain’s youngest scorer last month when he helped Spain beat Ukraine 4-0. Since then, Fati has scored three goals for Barcelona in a sensational start to the season.

Fati had a fantastic first season last year with Barcelona when he broke several scoring records.

Spain play Portugal in Lisbon on Wednesday. Then, in the Nations League, they will face Switzerland in Madrid on October 10 and visit Ukraine on October 13.

Spain lead Group 4 of the Nations League with four points. Ukraine have three points, Germany two, and Switzerland one.

___

Spain:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea), Unai Simón (Athletic Bilbao)

Defenders: Jesús Navas (Sevilla), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Diego Llorente (Leeds), José Luis Gayá (Valencia), Sergio Reguilón (Tottenham), Eric García (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Fabián Ruiz (Napoli), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodrigo Hernández (Manchester City), Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad), Dani Ceballos (Arsenal), Sergio Canales (Real Betis), José Campaña (Levante)

Forwards: Rodrigo Moreno (Leeds), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Adama Traoré (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City)

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: