Aston Villa are prepared to cash in on Bertrand Traore during the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claim that Steven Gerrard has given Aston Villa the green light to accept offers for the 26-year-old winger in the upcoming winter market, as the 41-year-old believes his current squad features too many wide attacking options.
The report goes on to state that, in order to give themselves the best possible chance of parting with the Burkina Faso international, the club would be willing to sanction the forward’s departure on either a temporary or permanent basis in January.
Having joined Aston Villa from Olympique Lyon in what was an initial £17m deal – plus £2m in add-ons – back in the summer of 2020, with the winger being handed a four-year deal on £63k-per-week, it would appear to be a fair statement to make that Traore has not quite lived up to his price tag so far in his career at Villa Park.
Indeed, despite scoring seven goals, providing six assists and averaging a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.95 over his 36 Premier League appearances last season, the £18m-rated man struggled to maintain a consistent level of performance throughout the campaign, something which Dan Bardell took aim at the 26-year-old for.
Speaking on The Villa View Podcast (via This Is Futbol), the journalist said: “There was a period where I thought, ‘this guy’s brilliant, what a signing, he looks great,’ but he’s suddenly just become so inconsistent.
“He got his assist against Fulham and I thought right here we go, that might give him a little bit of a lift-off again, but [he was] just completely ordinary [against Liverpool] and just not really offering us anything at times on the flanks.”
Unfortunately for Traore, this has proven to be the case more often than not over his four Premier League appearances so far this season, with the forward scoring no goals, registering no assists and averaging an extremely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.67 – ranking him as Villa’s 11th-worst performer in the top flight.
As such, considering that Gerrard has a wealth of options on the wing, coupled with the fact that Traore’s returns thus far have not exactly reflected the near £23m figure Villa have shelled out on his transfer fee and wages since joining the club, the 41-year-old manager simply must axe the Burkinabe winger this January, as he is somewhat stealing a living at Villa Park.