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Adama Traoré is back on the menu as Michail Antonio injury boils over

From Barcelona, to Aston Villa, to Middlesbrough... to West Ham?

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It has been no secret that David Moyes is looking to add quality to West Ham United, while shaping the squad to his own style of play. However, that plan might be derailed slightly as winger Michail Antonio’s groin continues to be a lingering problem.

David Moyes has told the London Evening Standard:

“Michail Antonio has not fully recovered from a groin problem. Our medical people believe it could clear up in a couple of weeks but if not it could be more serious,” Moyes said.

“We’re not sure yet but if it is the latter - and that would be a real shame - we will need to go out to try to make a suitable signing this month because we will need someone who plays down that righthand side.”

In what shape that move would take was a mystery until very recently. You might remember West Ham has previously sought after the 21 year old Spanish youngster, Adama Traore. This new injury to Antonio has certainly reinvigorated that interest.

Reports have suggested West Ham has reopened discussion with Middlesbrough, with negotiations forthcoming.

Adama is one of those premier talents that has been churning in every major club’s rumor mill for years. While his athleticism and dribbling can be inspiring, the real question always came down to that final touch and finishing quality. Catherine Wilson of ESPN FC credited his “athleticism”, though also remarked that his “footballing brain and teamwork skills are definitely up for debate”. This is no surprise to anyone that has been following Adama, who has failed to score in all 39 appearances with Middlesbrough.

While he could stand to improve on his finishing, that’s not really Traore’s game. Dribbling and creating space is his real talent and compared to the rest of Europe, he’s one of the best.

Adama is in his second year of a four year contract with Boro, and given the standings in the Championship at the moment, it’s difficult to think West Ham United would receive the kind of deal they’re seeking. Middlesbrough are sitting in eighth position, but find themselves four points from being in a playoff spot. For a team looking at possible promotion, given the television dollars at stake, it would have to be a very sweet deal to entice the move away.