Wolves bid farewell to Adama Traore in the summer, but Matheus Cunha has seemingly replaced him as the new dribble king at Molineux.
Wanderers saw Traore depart as a free agent, after failing to reach an agreement with the winger to sign a new contract. Talks had been held and offers had been made, but Traore was reluctant to commit his future.
He left, and then signed for Fulham.
Traore was a fascinating player to watch at Wolves. His incredible pace and power made him totally unique, and many Wolves fans found him a real thrill – until he got to the final third.
His end product often left a lot to be desired, but there was no denying how amazing a dribbler he was.
But it looks as though Wolves now have a new dribble king in the form of Matheus Cunha, following the emergence of a pretty impressive statistic…
Cunha has now been at Wolves for almost a year, after signing for the club from Atletico Madrid initially on loan.
It’s been a very interesting stint so far for the Brazilian at Molineux, with Cunha showcasing some brilliant qualities. Namely, his ball-carrying and dribbling.
According to WhoScored, Cunha is currently second out of all players in the Premier League for most successful dribbles per game, with 2.6. This is bettered by only Jeremy Doku of Manchester City and Eberechi Eze of Crystal Palace (both 3.4).
This is a very impressive statistic and shows that Cunha is fantastic when it comes to beating his man.
It suggests that he is the new Adama Traore at Wolves, with the Spaniard having regularly made the most successful dribbles per game for Wolves during his five years at the club.
In January of this year, WhoScored reported that Traore had completed more dribbles than any other player in the Premier League since the start of the 2018/19 season with 501. It was definitely what he was, and still is, all about.
But Traore did not score anywhere near as many goals as he should have, and the same can probably be said of Cunha.
In his 33 appearances for Wolves so far, the Brazilian has scored just four times.
While he can do a job, it has been clear that this is not where he is best. Simply put, Cunha’s finishing ability is not at the level required.
He is, clearly, more of a dribbler and ball carrier, and would therefore be better used in a deeper position where he has space to run at people. We often see him dropping deeper because it’s where he’s really effective, but then sometimes Wolves do not have anyone in the box and when Cunha is the one in the box, that clinical finish is often missing.
Seemingly, he himself is not a great fan of playing as a central striker, with a recent report claiming he had to be ‘persuaded’ he was the best option for the moment.
It’s been reported that Gary O’Neil will be looking to sign a new striker in January so that he can get Cunha into more of a free role, and that sounds like the perfect plan.