Chelsea have one of the best youth academies in world football. No question. The likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Reece James are doing the club proud, playing week in week out for Frank Lampard. However prior to this ‘long term’ appointment, the constant chopping and changing of managers with the relentless pursuit of short term trophy success has meant many young players have struggled to progress their careers at Stamford Bridge. So much so, they’ve been forced to either go on several loans and or move permanently to a club that can offer them the minutes they need. Bertrand Traore is a shining example of that.
The Blues’ youth product made a handful of appearances in 2015/16 for the club. But he decided his future lied elsewhere. A successful loan spell at Ajax followed, before he permanently moved to Lyon in 2017 for around £8.8 million. Since then, Traore has done well for the French side. Relegation threatened Bournemouth are now interested in the Burkina Faso international, according to Sky Sports. Having scored the joint least goals in the league this season, the Cherries are desperate for reinforcements up front.
Though he has struggled for form in 2019/20, failing to score in 16 Ligue 1 appearances, the 24 year old has been good for Lyon in the two seasons prior. 13 goals and 4 assists in 31 Ligue 1 appearances for the 2017/18 season. Followed by a less prolific 2018/19, with 7 goals and 2 assists in 2018/19. The fact his output has been decreasing is concerning. Yet there is talent there and he is a threat up front.
Here’s our profile of the Lyon forward and what he could bring to the south coast:
Bertrand Traore – Style of Play
Able to pay through the middle or on the wing, at 5ft 11, Traore possesses decent physical strength. Not impossible to push off the ball, but he’s got enough to hold off the defenders that are on him. In terms of pace, wow. He is lightning quick, running at defences without any fear or hesitation. As he plays mostly on the right wing for Lyon, he loves cutting inside on his left before testing the keeper.
The former Ajax loanee has averaged 1.6 dribbles per game this season. Standard for a winger. But the way he dribbles and moves with the ball is very impressive. A silky dribbler that’s able to turn quickly and accelerate with pace. The video shows how fast his footwork is and how easily the former Chelsea striker can change direction.
As I mentioned he loves cutting inside on his left foot before taking a shot. That’s mostly because he’s very one footed. I haven’t seen Traore score a lot with his right foot in the few clips I’ve seen, which perhaps makes him really predictable. Not everyone can get away with it like Arjen Robben. But the Lyon attacker does look like a smart player. The one-two in the video and how quickly he makes decisions suggest that to me. Though he hasn’t scored in Ligue 1 this season, he has made 3 assists and averaged an impressive 1.2 key passes per game. So if he’s not scoring, he’s creating and has good vision for a pass.
Difficult deal to do?
It might prove difficult for Bournemouth to get Bertrand Traore out of Lyon. Chelsea still have first refusal on him and a percentage sell-on clause, so be sure the French side will charge a high price for their 24 year old. £35 million according to the Daily Mail. Moreover, the long term injury to Memphis Depay may encourage Lyon to keep him. They’ve said Moussa Dembele will stay, so I don’t imagine they’ll let Traore leave for the Vitality Stadium. At least not for cheap.
He’s a decent player with talent and still has time to develop. I see him moving back to the Premier League in the future. However perhaps not in January.
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