Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Bruno Lage has defended his decision to demote Adama Traore to the bench in recent weeks.
The 25-year-old has started just two of his side’s last six Premier League games and was only given a 22-minute cameo in Saturday’s defeat to Crystal Palace.
With Traore’s deal up in the summer of 2023, some have speculated that Lage’s refusal to start the Spain international stems from his refusal to sign a new contract, but the Wolves boss has rubbished such talk.
Speaking to the press after the Palace defeat, Lage said: “No, no, no. I don’t know what happened before. But for sure I am 100 per cent free to take my decisions and that is my job.
“The personality I have, I don’t accept these kind of things in my role. One thing is the contract and the other thing is my ideas. If I need him to play and to win games, I will put him in again.
“That is the question every time. When you look for the starting team we want, every time we have to take decisions. We play with Adama also against Leeds and we don’t have the chances to go in the transition.
“Okay, I understand your question and for sure we think about it. We try to understand the game and to find spaces to play with Rayan (Ait-Nouri) and Nelsen (Semedo) because they are in good positions.
“We try to see, especially from the back, if our midfielders come with the pressure or not and to also find Hwang Hee-chan and Francisco Trincao between the lines.”
Traore is without a goal or assist in 10 Premier League games this season and has also failed to register in two EFL Cup appearances for Wolves.