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Adama Traore faces Mali predicament

Adama Traore faces Mali predicament

Adama Traore is set for another battle over his international future with Mali making another attempt to secure his allegiance ahead of Spain.

The Wolves winger was born and raised in Spain, but his parents are Malian.

He represented Spain at four youth levels and has twice been called up to the senior squad, but he is yet to make his senior international debut.

In November 2019, he was forced to pull out of the squad due to injury after his first call-up. Luis Enrique called on him again in August this year, but he once again missed out on making his bow after returning a positive Covid-19 test.

Now, Mali have called him up for their upcoming international friendly matches with Ghana and Iran, on October 9 and October 13 respectively.

If Traore does decide to turn his back on Spain and commit his future to Mali, it is unlikely he would be eligible to play in these upcoming games, with plenty of paperwork to be completed in order to comply with FIFA’s eligibility rules.

Having played for them at youth level, Spain are his primary association, and documentation from both the Spanish and Malian FAs would be needed in order to complete a change of nationality.

Spain boss Enrique would without doubt be disappointed to lose him, despite not having deployed him on the pitch yet.

“We have been following Adama,” Enrique said after calling him up in August. “He has improved many things. Obviously, he stands out for his dribbling. His crossing ability has greatly improved. He is a diamond with great potential. He can bring us a lot of different things.”

However, in January, Traore suggested he would still be happy to play for either country – even after his first call-up for Spain.

“My mentality is to work for the team and the performance for the team gives me half a chance with two international teams and I am happy for that,” he told BBC Sport.

“I am grateful [to have the chance] with the two international teams – Spain where I was born and Mali where my origins are.”

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