Bertrand Traore’s career at Chelsea is flourishing at the moment and fans must be even more pleased as the player was very close to a loan move to Marseille in the winter transfer window. Against Manchester City in the recent 5-1 FA Cup rout, Traore scored his third goal for the Blues in the span of three weeks. In fact, in his last three games, Traore has been introduced from the bench, and has scored Chelsea’s fifth goal each of those times.
His recent performances have ensured he has become a player who is slowly demanding more game-time from boss Guus Hiddink and is effectively working his work his way into first-team contention.
Traore has always been “highly rated”, a phrase we hear all too often as far as youngsters or “starlets” are concerned. In fact, the potential of the 20-year-old was never in doubt and was spoken at length when Chelsea beat Manchester United among other clubs to acquire the Burkina Faso attacker’s services back in 2010. Traore’s move to Chelsea was completed in the January transfer window of 2014, once he turned 18 (due to certain regulations).
After registering with the Premier League side, he was sent out on loan to Vitesse Arnhem, something that has acquired the status of a cliché in the books of Chelsea. He vastly impressed in his time with the Dutch club and in 51 appearances, he scored an impressive 20 goals.
He returned to Chelsea at the start of this season, but failed to get too much action on the field under Jose Mourinho, and it didn’t come as a surprise when links with Marseille began to emerge. The French side were in desperate need of reinforcements and Traore could have really boosted their chances of a European spot. They eventually ended up going back for Florian Thauvin and Traore ended up staying.
Considering the way he seems to be blossoming on the pitch, the decision already seems to have paid off. Scoring in three consecutive appearances, the player looks full of confidence. As they say, for attackers nothing can be more beneficial than scoring goals. The fact that he is means he is getting even more sure of his abilities and is taking chances. When we put another youngster, Jordon Ibe under the microscope, we can truly see the importance of scoring goals. One of the primary reasons for Ibe’s dip in form this season is because the player has not been scoring as much as he thinks he should. Before he got his first goal for the club in the Europa League, one could see him get frustrated on the pitch as he wasn’t able to find the back of the net. He worked hard with Kenny Dalglish in the summer on his goalscoring but rewards just didn’t seem to appear on the pitch. Even. In 33 appearances this season, the winger has scored 3 goals in all competitions. It is of little surprise that Ibe’s performances overall look bereft of any inspiration. Once he gets among goals, his confidence would increase and his overall contribution on the pitch is also likely to improve.
Considering the fact that Radamel Falcao has been adjudged a flop and Alexandre Pato, who was supposed to be Falcao’s replacement is yet to make an appearance for Chelsea, there could be a lot of pessimism in the fan-base. However, Bertrand Traore’s form is clearly one of the reasons why there is more the feeling of anticipation for the future. Traore’s form and fitness means he has put himself ahead of the South American duo in Chelsea’s pecking order. If he continues putting in these kind of performances, Hiddink could be forced into giving him a few starts as well.
He has shown desire and determination in his brief appearances for the side. Coupled with ability, there is clearly a willingness to succeed, which is almost more crucial than ability at this stage of the career. He has an eye for goal, great finishing abilities, good movement and presence of mind. Considering he is only 20, it is almost scary to envision how good he can be if his potential is correctly realized. The Burkina Faso international is clearly a long-term Chelsea project. He has always held the “special” status and is now proving why he was not all hype.