Tim Sherwood admits Adama Traore is beginning to struggle at Aston Villa, but says the winger is still “in development”.
Traore was in scintillating form earlier in the season after signing from Barcelona for £8.5million this summer.
However, the winger has endured a couple of poor recent performances, and is still yet to start a Premier League game for the struggling Villans.
Sherwood admits Traore is struggling to replicate his early form, but has defended the 19-year-old by adding that he is still “in development”.
“It wasn’t his day at Chelsea,” Sherwood told the Birmingham Mail. “But I’ve said this before, he’s in development.
“This kid has played from League Two in Spain which isn’t one of the most competitive leagues so coming here is a big step up for him.
“He has a go, that’s what I encourage him to do.
“I don’t shout at him if he gives it away 16 times a day, I encourage him to keep going.
“Next time, he’ll run past someone and he’ll win us the game so that’s why I keep encouraging them.”