It is not every day that a 19 year old plays well enough to garner close scrutiny, or let’s say appreciation. One such case would have to be Kurt Zouma. Although, Zouma is more of the exception than the rule, yet it is no wonder that he garners the spotlight. One, because he plays regularly for his age in the Chelsea squad. Another, because he is, to state, in Football Manager terms, a wonder-kid.
Chelsea have had several players on loan at Vitesse. Not all of them would win a place in the Chelsea first team in the years to come, nor would all of them be the next Lukakus or anything like that. However, there’s one lad who has been turning heads during his loan spell at the Vitesse matches in the Dutch Professional League.
Bertrand Traore, 19, is the man in focus. He is only 19 if you like to say it that way. Yet, he is a full international already for his Burkina Faso National Team. I don’t know many players who are full internationals by their 20th Birthday. News has recently come that he has again been selected for the national team. As such, he must have been performing at a certain height of performance for the Eredivisie side.
First loaned to the Dutch side in January, his loan was extended for another season till the end of 2014-15 season. In all competitions, he has represented Vitesse Arnhem in 33 matches and has scored 10 goals for them so far. For the Burkina Faso national team, he has appeared 15 times, scoring once in that time against Morocco. But those numbers don’t actually shed enough light on his development.
The first thing to keep in mind when assessing his performances is the fact that he is only 19. Then one would be able to gauge the magnitude of his performances properly. Let’s have a look at his performances in some detail.
|Competition||Appearances||Goals||Assists||Minutes Per Goal|
Surely, in the Eredivisie as a whole, he might not have been magnificent as a goalscorer, but then have a look at these stats:
The picture becomes clearer now. While Traore may not be a proficient goal-scoring outlet, he most certainly is the one who creates a lot of chances to score them goals.
His pass completion rate is 81% at such an early stage of his career, he can only improve from here. He has made 15 key passes, and has created 16 chances, that most certainly is a very impressive score for his age. With time, he will only get better and it is certain that when he ends this season, he would be a much more refined player.
The other fact that needs to be considered is the number of fouls suffered by the Burkina Faso International. He has suffered 11 of them. That only happens to the players that cause problems to the opposition, as he strengthens his body over time and builds an imposing physique that is more suited to physical play, he would make much more impact every 90 minutes.
Further, in the KNVB Cup, he has scored 3 goals in 3 matches and that is also an indication of exactly what he is capable of. The best path to develop him efficiently would certainly be loaning him out at least for one more season. By then, he would have enough stats to speak for himself.
Bertrand Traore is a rare gem. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that he shines the brightest. The Dutch Footballing environment provides him the optimum environment to develop for the moment.
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