Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Forgotten man first casualty of new Villa era as Gerrard identifies problem

Bertrand Traore, Ollie Watkins Aston Villa v Man Utd May 2021

Overlooked winger Bertrand Traore will be allowed to leave Aston Villa in the January transfer window, according to a report.

The 26-year-old is currently in his second season with the West Midlanders after moving from Lyon in September 2020. His first 12 months proved relatively fruitful, with seven Premier League goals from 36 appearances and 29 starts. But a combination of injury and a dip in form has seen the Burkina Faso international relegated to the peripheries this term.

He has struggled with a thigh injury in the early part of the campaign and played just 53 minutes of league football. And it seems as though the African’s time at Villa Park might be nearing the end.

Steven Gerrard is now in charge of affairs after Dean Smith’s sacking. And Football Insider are reporting that the new boss has been given permission to jettison the wide man.

The report adds that Gerrard feels the Villa squad is unbalanced, with too many attacking wide players. Traore has been informed that he can either go out on loan or find a permanent new home.

The Villans paid Lyon £17m for the attacker last year. Whether they can recoup that amount is open to debate.

Steven Gerrard Villa

But it seems as though the man with 59 international caps will be on his way in the new year. Traore began his professional career with Chelsea.

Having come up though the Auxerre youth setup, he moved to Stamford Bridge in 2013. After a short stint in the youth team, he penned terms with the senior squad in December of that year.

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But game time was hard to come by in west London and he spent time on loan in order to gain experience.

No luck for Traore at Chelsea

Traore enjoyed 18 months on loan with Vitesse, bagging 20 goals from 51 outings for the Eredivisie side. The Bobo-Dioulasso-born ace signed a three-year contract extension with the Blues in August 2016.

However, he was loaned to another Dutch club for 2016-2017, with Ajax handing him 38 appearances in all competitions. The talented forward responded with 13 goals. He was part of the side that lost 2-0 to Manchester United in the Europa League final.

Three solid seasons with Lyon prompted Villa to make a move. But it has been an indifferent period with his current employers and a winter exit seems best for all concerned.

Dean Smith looking dejected after Aston Villa loss

Gerrard has been tipped to add to his squad when the window opens. Players will need to be offloaded and Traore’s name appears to be top of the list.

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