Bertrand Traore: Should Chelsea Let Go Of their Burkinabe Prodigy?

After a tumultuous opening few weeks, Marseille have settled under the regime of new manager Míchel. The club can even hope for a European spot at the end of the season, a possibility that looked very bleak at one point.

However, for that to happen, Marseille need some reinforcements this winter and the club is well aware of that having been linked with a few players, including Chelsea starlet Bertrand Traore.

The potential of the 20-year-old was clear from the time Chelsea acquired his services back in 2010, reportedly beating Premier League rivals Manchester United and incidentally Marseille in the process.


Chelsea interest

Chelsea had paid attention to the Under-17 World Cup where the 14 year old represented Burkina Faso, becoming the youngest player in the finals of the competition. However, the move to Chelsea had to wait until the January transfer window of 2014, once Traore turned 18 due to certain regulations. Once registered with Chelsea, Traore joined Vitesse Arnhem, as the recent trend has become with young players at the side.

The youngster impressed in his stint with the Dutch club. In 51 appearances in one and a half seasons, the Burkina Faso international scored an impressive 20 goals.  He returned to Chelsea at the start of this season, but has failed to get too much action on the field with only four cameo appearances so far.

It isn’t surprising that he is looking to move to a place where he can get more game-time as it is imperative at this stage of his career.


Versatile and his main strengths

Traore can play anywhere in the forward line and while he is primarily said to be a winger, he has often been utilized best as a number 9. However, his slight physique means he might not be the best fit to lead the line.

He could be used in the hole right behind the striker as he could utilise his strengths in the best manner in this position. His pace and power helps him beat defenders in one on one situations as he makes his way to the goal.

One of his biggest strengths is the fact that he has been blessed with a fine eye for goal and he isn’t afraid to do so, even from a long distance. He can take up intelligent positions in and around the box which makes him difficult to defend against, as he is constantly moving about and isn’t rigid with a fixed spot on the field.


Would be a benefit to Marseille

There is little doubt that Traore can add plenty to Marseille’s ambitions of collecting as many points in the second half of the season and ensure they can at least play the Europa League next season. Michel has been able to successfully extract the best out of youngsters like Michy Batshuayi and Georges-Kévin N’Koudou. Therefore, the potential of Traore will be in safe hands as well.

Traore can add another element to the Marseille attack. His versatility means the manager will be able to use him in a variety of positions to see where he can serve the interests of the team the best.

Marseille are in the market for attackers and have been linked AS Roma’s Seydou Doumbia and former attacker Florian Thauvin.

It is difficult to guess whether if they will want another player after Traore comes in but if they’re even able to only get the Chelsea attacker, their prospects of a good finish to this season would certainly be higher than before.


Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1

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