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The flying 24-year-old winger has been named in coach Mohamed Magassouba’s squad to face Ghana and Iran in October

Wolverhampton Wanderers star Adama Traore has been included in Mali’s senior squad for the first time.

Mohamed Magassouba revealed his selection for October’s international friendly against Ghana and Iran with the jet-heeled 24-year-old making the cut.

Red-hot FC Porto forward Moussa Marega, Southampton‘s Moussa Djenepo as well as Everton‘s Abdoulaye Doucoure were also among the 31-man squad announced on Monday.

Traore had looked set to commit his international future to Spain after he was named by Luis Enrique in August for the Uefa Nations League matches against Germany and Ukraine. However, he pulled out after testing positive for the coronavirus.

In January, he stated that he has not decided on his international future but will be open to representing any of the countries.

Then the former Spain U16, U17, U19 and U21 star was handed a call-up to the Spanish senior national team for the Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Malta and Romania in November 2019 but pulled out of the games due to an injury.

In the 2019-20 season, he scored six goals and provided 12 assists in 54 appearances across all competitions.

Remarkably, the Malian Football Association attempted to pull out the big guns in order to convince the Wolves winger into a change of allegiance in March 2020.

They recruited the services of former Sevilla star Frederic Kanoute, who made a similar decision during his playing career to declare to play for the West Africans, despite been born and raised in France.

“If he is listening to me right now – I am heading your way, Adama,” Kanoute told BBC Sport.

“The Mali FA has called me to say ‘Please, please go and see him because you speak perfect Spanish so you can convince him’ and so on.

“I would like him to [play for Mali] but I will tell him the truth that it is obviously going to be a struggle and that it is not going to be so comfortable to play for an African national team.

“But the people give you back so much and he has the opportunity to make something big with a very, very talented generation that we have in Mali, so I will try to convince him.”

As part of preparations for their matches against Namibia, the Eagles will face the Black Stars on October 9 before facing the Asian giants four days later.

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September 28, 2020
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