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Aston Villa close to completing £17m deal for 24-year-old Ligue 1 star – A huge move by Smith?

Bertrand Traore celebrates after scoring
Bertrand Traore celebrates after scoring

Why Bertrand Traore would be a good signing for Aston Villa

According to Sky Sports, Aston Villa are set to complete the signing of former Chelsea winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon on a four-year deal for a fee of £17million, rising to £19million with add-ons. 

The 24-year-old, who knows Villa’s assistant manager John Terry from his playing days at Stamford Bridge, is expected to fly down to Villa Park to have his medical on Monday. (h/t Sky Sports)

Profile

Bertrand Traore started his career with Auxerre in France before completing his development at Chelsea. He made his professional debut while on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch Eredivisie before returning to Stamford Bridge and making his mark in the Blues senior team.

The 24-year-old only made 16 first-team appearances for Chelsea during the 2015-16 campaign, scoring 4 times in the process. Traore was subsequently loaned out to Ajax, where he played in the Europa League final before earning a permanent move to Lyon in the summer of 2017.

Bertrand Traore: Aston Villa agree £17m deal for Lyon forward | Football News | Sky Sports

The Burkinabe international has since established himself as a potent forward over the course of his three-year stay in France. He has registered an impressive 33 goals and 17 assists in 126 appearances across all competitions.

Villa need more quality in their wide options

Aston Villa have already roped in Ollie Watkins from Brentford on a 5-year deal to bolster their attack this summer while Matty Cash has also arrived from Nottingham Forest to shore up the backline.

However, it might not be enough for Villa to make just a single addition to their attack, considering that they managed just 41 goals in the league last term. Jack Grealish’s heroics against West Ham on the final day of the previous campaign preserved the club’s top-flight status but it goes without saying that the Villans need more goals to ensure a smoother ride this season.

Bertrand Traoré - Burkina | Player Profile | Sky Sports Football
Traore scored 4 goals in 16 appearances for Chelsea earlier in his career (Getty Images)

The acquisition of Watkins is surely a step in the right direction and Villa will be hoping that his arrival sorts out their centre-forward woes. With that in mind, however, Dean Smith also needs to consider strengthening his wide attacking options. The likes of Trezeguet and Anwar El Ghazi shared just league 10 goals among them last season, which simply isn’t enough.

Having said that, Bertrand Traore has the right kind of profile to come through the door at Villa Park as an upgrade on the club’s existing options on the flanks. Moreover, the ex-Chelsea starlet is left-footed, so he would offer something different to the likes of Trezeguet, Jack Grealish and El Ghazi.

The Burkina Faso international boasts an impressive track record of goals and assists at Ajax and Lyon while his previous experience in English football means that the versatile forward should be capable of making an instant impact for the Villans.

Report: Aston Villa up bid for Bertrand Traore to £19m, Lyon expected to accept offer
Source: Getty Images

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Verdict

Bertrand Traore still has his best years ahead of him at 24. That coupled with his exploits in France and the Netherlands means that Aston Villa shouldn’t hesitate to go ahead with this deal.

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