Bertrand Traoré Signs
Aston Villa today finally announced the signing of Lyon forward Bertrand Traoré for the previously reported fee of £17m (rising to £19m).
The pacey 25-year-old will hopefully add another dimension to Villa’s attacking player, which has been in need of additional options, especially out wide. Despite being left-footed, Traore likes to play on the right-hand side and cut in. He can also fill in down the middle.
As with the previous signings of Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash, it’s clear that Traoré was also bought in to give Villa more speed and energy on the pitch.
Aside from Jack Grealish, Villa have perhaps been a little predictable in their forward play. Traoré will certainly bring something a little different, but how much of a wild card is he?
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For the player, his switch from Lyon to Villa, will give him a chance to refocus his career after the disappointing last season at the French club.
Largely frozen out of the first team in Lyon’s Champions League campaign, that saw them reach the semi-finals, Traoré’s had a bit of a backlash from Lyon fans after coming on as a substitute and then missing the deciding penalty in the penalty shoot-out in last season’s Coupe de la Ligue Final that gifted the cup to PSG.
Also, there was this miskick incident below that didn’t exactly help Traoré’s reputation with the Lyon faithful, despite it not being his fault, as he was clipped before pulling the trigger.
Good Business Potential?
In the couple of seasons before 2019/20 that though, when Traoré was impressing at Lyon, he had been constantly linked with a move back to the Premier League, with the likes of Everton, Spurs, Southampton and West Ham, all in the mix for him.
Indeed, Everton were reported to have offered £25m at one stage for his services, so Villa may have done good business at £17m, if he can recapture his earlier form.
In terms of age, time is still on Traoré’s side and with a few friendly Villa faces he’s played with before – John Terry (Chelsea), Marvelous Nakamba (Vitesse) and Anwar El Ghazi (Ajax) – to help him bed back down into the Premier League, there is potential for this to be a good signing for Villa.
Considering Traoré something of wild card isn’t necessary a bad thing. Smith needs options and a greater variety of attacking weapons.
If the ex-Lyon man is providing Villa with both pace and an element of unpredictability, that combination could prove to make him a very useful signing indeed.