Adama Traore is “carrying too much weight” to play for a top side, according to his fellow Spaniard Jose Enrique.
Wolves forward Traore has proved himself a handful for Premier League defences in recent seasons thanks to his potent combination of technical and athletic ability.
The 25-year-old – who was reportedly approached by NFL teams during his youth – enjoyed an excellent 2019/20 season during which he contributed four goals and nine assists in the league.
But Traore’s dynamic displays on the right flank have not been so effective this campaign and he is without a goal in 22 top flight outings.
As such, the transfer speculation linking him with a big-money move to some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, including Liverpool, has dried up.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Sport as he reflected on his own body issues, Enrique cited his experience of carrying too many pounds to explain why Traore’s endurance would benefit from him losing weight.
“When I played, I was obsessed with my fitness,” said the former Liverpool left-back.
“Sometimes I pushed myself too much and to be honest, I was too big.
“I was quick, people couldn’t pass me one-v-one, but I believe, for a footballer, it is better to be slim.
“Everyone loves Adama Traore, for example, but his body is why he doesn’t play for a big team.
“He cannot run for 90 minutes up and down the pitch because it doesn’t let him, he is carrying too much weight.
“A footballer is not meant to be that strong.
“It is something that I regret. The fitness coaches at Liverpool told me I was too big.
“Looking back, it would have benefitted me and my kind of football if I was a bit slimmer.”
Enrique spent four seasons with Newcastle before joining Liverpool in 2011, making 99 appearances for the Reds and winning the League Cup in 2012.