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Adama Traoré: Officially presented as an FC Barcelona player

President Joan Laporta and Jordi Cruyff presenting Adama with his new shirt / Lluis Gene / AFP via Getty Images

Adama Traoré was officially presented as an FC Barcelona player on Wednesday, marking his return to his childhood club. Joan Laporta, Jordi Cruyff and Adama Traoré all spoke at the press conference.

Adama Traoré, who left the club in 2015 for a stint in England, was presented today as an FC Barcelona player as he makes his return to his boyhood club. Adama joins Barça on loan for Wolverhampton Wanderers till the end of the season, with an option to buy at the end of the loan term. Having played 3 games for the first team after making his debut in 2014, Adama makes his return 7 years later and will wear no. 11.

It was president Joan Laporta who first addressed the press:

President Joan Laporta speaks at the press conference / Lluis Gene / AFP via Getty Images

On Adama’s arrival

“It’s a very special day. Welcome Adama. You trained here, you were born here, Barça trained you, then you made a career abroad and now you come back here so that Barça can enjoy your talent. I want to thank you for having taken into account the situation of the club and you have made an effort, and it is appreciated. And when we can, we will always take it into account.” 

“I want to emphasize that a beautiful story continues today, that of Adama with FC Barcelona.” 

On Dembele and if he will play again for the club

“The coach decides it, of course. We have a purchase option for Adama and we hope to use it. Returning to Dembélé, the coach will decide, it is the coach’s decision. Yes, I think he works for this season but for the next one, it is more difficult for him to play, because we are rebuilding a team. And he has not wanted to renew and in this sense it is a problem. I hope that it is resolved in favor of our interests and that he is not harmed either.”

“He has a contract and if he is available, the coach will decide. But the coach knows the circumstances and is just as surprised as we are that he did not accept the renewal and I understand that he will also take it into account because it makes planning difficult. We have to manage it and we will have to do it for the club’s interests without harming anything else. We haven’t understood the player’s position. We respect it but we don’t accept it, we don’t understand it.” 

“We want players with Adama’s attitude. Players who don’t want to renew with Barça, they will know. These are circumstances that are not the most appropriate and we hope they understand it.”

On the signings and his assessment of the market

“We are satisfied, very satisfied with how the work has been done. I want to refer to Mateu Alemany, who is in Mallorca for a few days for a family matter. Very happy with the work, with the incorporations that we have with the current circumstances and the salary margin. We will continue working to give Xavi options to have an even more competitive team at the end of the season.”

On whether the renewal proposal no longer exists for Dembélé

“Since December 20 there is no longer a proposal. They would have to sit down to negotiate again if they wanted but it doesn’t seem like it. It was a very good offer, also said by the player. He told us he was grateful. They tried to negotiate another proposal but his aspirations, with his other offers, were unattainable. We looked for a solution for these 6 months, that he plays for another club but he didn’t want to. And they were good and interesting offers for the club. Respecting their rights, we will seek our interests and the coach’s, who knows what Barça is, and then we will decide. A similar case happened to us with Ilaix and a solution was found, but with Dembélé there was no way.”

More on the Dembélé situation

“Dembélé has been accompanied by situations that have not been the best, it was difficult for him to adapt due to the many injuries he had, a lot of money was invested and we had the hope to see him for many years and we have all been disappointed. We have understood his injuries, his disappointments for feeling that perhaps he has not felt well treated. We have understood his arguments and from the club we wanted it to happen, that he renews to demonstrate his talent . There is a certain disappointment. I have treated him the best I could, the coach has done the same. He has a great level and we have not been able to enjoy much of his talent.”

On whether there is an option to terminate the Frenchman’s contract

“We will evaluate all the options and I hope to be able to execute the best one for the interests of Barça.”

On the purchase option for Adama

“It is a free option, not compulsory, by both parties. There are fixed amounts and at the end of the season we will sit down with Adama and his representatives and I wish that this option be exercised.”  

On his words saying that “Dembélé is better than Mbappé” 

“I don’t regret it, I keep thinking about it and that’s why we made him a very good offer. Just because he is better doesn’t mean that one or the other performs better. Dembélé for his talent is one of the best in the world.”

New signing Adama Traoré then addressed the press:

New signing Adama Traore at the press conference / Lluis Gene / AFP via Getty Images

On his return to the club

“I want to thank the president, my family, those who have accompanied me in these 7 years abroad. I will do everything possible so that the Catalans are happy with me. And hope that from Sunday I can show my talent on the pitch.” 

On how he has changed since he left

“Physically, I have more experience, playing in another league, with more transitions, more physicality, and I’ve learned a lot. I’m happy to work again with president Laporta, with Xavi and for Barça’s triumph.”

On Barça’s problems in recent years

“I have always followed Barça but I think that as the president has said, we are growing and my job is to help, learn as much as possible and what I have said, try to meet the set objectives.”

On what Xavi asks of him

“What he has asked of the wingers that are there, to show my talent, one on ones, try to score goals, and several other things that he asks of us. The most important thing, to be competitive regardless of the rival, try to win and go with everything.” 

“My commitment is on the pitch, to work, to improve day by day. I’ve said that improving every day is my goal. To help the team 100% when the coach decides.” 

On Xavi

“He is a legend at Barça. Since I was little when I debuted I talked to him about life, since he had been in our position, in the academy and he told us what we had to do. Like Puyol and the captains, they gave us advice and nice memories, with Iniesta, Busquets, Alba, they advise us from the academy the path to take to be here for many years like them.”

On making his return at the Camp Nou

“Being at the Camp Nou is always special, and even more so after my return to what has always been my home.” 

“It is a joy and a set of joys to return to what has always been my home, I was here for almost 11 years and I want to give the fans a lot of joy”. 

On his departure in 2015

“Barcelona has always been my home. They are decisions and sometimes you have to take another path to reach the first team and the important thing is that I am back, happy and excited”. 

On the option of playing as a winger 

“I’ve played as a winger and in different positions, as a striker, on both wings. There are several positions and the coach tells me that he wants me as a winger.” 

Jordi Cruyff also addressed the press:

Jordi Cruyff at the press conference / Marc Graupera Aloma / AFP7 via Getty Images

On Dembele

“These are things that happen and he is considered just like any other player and the coach has to make the decision, taking into account the present and the future.” 

“The team has brought 3 attacking players and has a wider range than in December, there are more players. In November or December there was a situation but now there are more options for the manager.” 

On who out of the 4 signings will miss out on the Europa League

“It’s a tough situation for the coach and everyone. It’s important to talk about it internally first and tell the affected player, out of respect. We don’t like it and the player it hurts, but that’s football.” 

On the non-arrival of a left-back 

“When you make a work plan, it is a winter market, different from the summer market. It is difficult to find a starting defender, who adjusts to the financial situation. We have done a part importantly, with the attackers and we have reinforced an important part of the squad. We still have work to do to build the team and squad that we want and we have been working for the next market for some time. The coach now has more weapons, and different ones and we have improved and I hope we have more strength of attack and play games beyond 60 or 70 minutes.”