Huge things were expected of the supremely talented Adama Traore at Barcelona a few years ago.
The Spanish winger, who joined the Camp Nou youth setup at the age of eight in 2004, was widely regarded as a potential superstar.
"He has the potential to become an exceptional player," Spanish football journalist Graham Hunter told Sky Sports after Adama completed a surprise move to Aston Villa in 2015. "He is the kind of player which explain why people buy season tickets and why Sky have invested in the Premier League again. Okay, he's not English, he's from Spain and was born in Barcelona, but he's frighteningly exciting.”
Adama, however, was only given a few opportunities to impress in Villa’s nightmarish 2015-16 campaign.
He made 13 appearances for the English club, scoring one goal, but wasn’t given a sustained run in the first team as Villa fought - well, sort of - against relegation.
Adama showed off his ridiculous pace v Arsenal
Despite his struggles at Villa Park, Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka - acutely aware of Adama’s talent - snapped up the winger on a four-year deal back in the summer.
And against Arsenal on Saturday, out on that right flank, the 20-year-old repaid his manager’s faith with an exceptionally dynamic performance.
On a couple of occasions, Adama roasted the Arsenal’s defence with his remarkable pace.
New 2016-17 PL sprint king
And in this particular sprint, the youngster apparently recorded the fastest sprint time of any Premier League player so far this season: 37 km/h, beating Moussa Sissoko’s record of 35.5 km/h.
Here's another of his sprints...
Reaction on Twitter
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Adama’s pace…
Karanka on Adama's performance
“You asked me two or three weeks ago about Adama because he was an impact player,” Karanka was quoted as saying by the Gazette after the match. “I said ‘one day he would start because he is a really good player’ but he’s young, he needs to learn and tactically he has to improve a lot.
“This week we have worked really hard with him , with the video and on the pitch so he’s played a really good game but he has to keep improving.”
The Boro boss added: “We knew when we signed him he could be a really important player for us because he gives us the pace that we don’t (otherwise) have.
“The day that he understands the game tactically, our organisation, I said that he can be - not an impact player in the game - but an impact player in the league.”
Is Adama Traore now the fastest player in the Premier League? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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