By Anthony Onifade

18th Nov, 2023 | 10:10am

Bertrand Traore surely gearing up for Aston Villa exit in January after international development in last 24 hours

Aston Villa forward Bertrand Traore may well be forcing himself into the January shop window after a stunning individual performance for Burkino Faso which will have clubs on notice.

The 28-year-old, who joined Villa from Lyon for £17m plus £2m in add-ons in 2020 [Sky Sports, 19 September 2020], has featured for a miserable 41 minutes in all competitions this season and has become an unfortunate afterthought in team.

Traore started just once for Emery last season and so far this term he’s featured for just nine minutes of action in the Premier League, which was as a substitute against Burnley on 27 August.

During those nine minutes, the attacker made just two passes, completing only one, failing to complete his only attempted long pass [Sofascore]. Moreover, he did not register any shots or tackles and lost possession of the ball twice during his brief cameo.

The 28-year-old spent the first half of last season on loan at Istanbul Basaksehir before being recalled by Unai Emery in the January transfer window.

The Burkina Faso international played 18 times in all competitions for Basaksehir, scoring three goals before returning to the West Midlands and netting twice in just first team eight appearances last season.

And there had been much talk regarding a possible exit from Villa Park [Birmingham Live, 17 July] as a result of his expected limited opportunities after the signings of Moussa Diaby and Nicolo Zaniolo.

Over his last six appearances for Villa, Traore has only managed to amass four progressive carries out of 9 attempted [FBREF], a stat which may prove why Emery is always hesitant to even include him in his matchday squad.

However, the attacker forced himself into his country’s plans for the November internationals despite his limited minutes and fitness issues at Villa Park.

And in his first game back for Burkino Faso after months since his last appearance, the former Chelsea man showcased his “magic” qualities with a sublime individual goal against Guinea-Bissau in a 1-1 draw their 2026 Wold Cup qualifying game on Friday night (18 November).

Traore’s contract with the Midlands club expires next summer, so it certainly makes sense for Aston Villa to ship him out in the upcoming window.

However, given his recent goal for Burkina Faso, Traore has certainly put prospective interested parties on notice ahead of the January window and Aston Villa could yet be fielding a few calls very soon.

It’s clear, his career in the West Midlands may well be over but he’s still got qualities which could be incredibly useful elsewhere.

In other Aston Villa news, Emery must stick with one Villa Park midfield maestro v Spurs on 26 November after his recent international masterclass.