Hoffenheim and Lyon battled it out in a thrilling 3-3 draw in a Champions League group stage clash in Germany on Tuesday night. Both sides held the lead at one point or another and the result was only settled by home side substitute Joelinton in stoppage time. Ultimately, at the end of a pulsating affair, a draw was probably a fair result.
Amongst a litany of stand out performances, Bertrand Traore was one of the individuals who shone for the Ligue 1 side. The 23-year-old winger was a constant menace to the Hoffenheim back line and his goal and assist were, of course, vital in securing a point for the visitors.
On top of finding the back of the net, the winger’s only other shot on goal came off the woodwork. The 48-cap Burkina Faso international also provided two key passes, including his assist.
His end product contribution against the Bundesliga club ought to come as no surprise considering the blistering form Traore has begun the new campaign in. In thirteen outings so far this season, in all competitions, the attacker has already registered five goals and two assists. Last season, he racked up eighteen goals and seven assists in 43 appearances.
As well as end product, Traore’s distribution and wing play is also impressive. Against Hoffenheim, the forward recorded a pass accuracy rating of 91%, which consisted of 42 passes and one accurate long ball. When the occasion arose, he was also able to beat his man and completed one successful dribble on Tuesday night.
With a Transfermarkt valuation of just £16.2 million, Traore could represent a bargain acquisition for an elite level club looking to bolster their wide options with an exciting, pacy young winger. One club who fit that mould and ought to make a move for Traore before his value skyrockets out of their reach is Arsenal. The Gunners would be wise to offer Traore a second chance to prove his quality in the Premier League.
The Lyon No. 10’s only previous spell in England, with Chelsea, did not go according to plan. Aside from a brief spell in the Blues’ first team in the 2015/16 season – which saw him bag four goals in sixteen appearances – Traore’s time with the West London club largely consisted of a string of loan moves. Despite impressing during temporary stints with both Vitesse and Ajax, Traore never regained his place in the first team at Stamford Bridge.
[brid autoplay=”true” video=”310054″ player=”12034″ title=”Rafa’s Pub Facts Fake Madrid & Ross Barkley Emulates… David Ngog”]
In the summer of 2017, Lyon paid an initial fee of around £9 million to prise Traore away from Chelsea on a permanent basis. However, certain clauses included in the transaction could mean that the Blues receive first refusal upon buying the attacker back.
However, that ought not to dissuade Arsenal from pursuing the explosive wide man. Traore is clearly an exceptional talent and the dearth of out and out wingers in Unai Emery’s squad makes the Emirates Stadium an ideal destination for the Lyon man.
Chelsea have already seen both Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne depart the club only to develop into world class superstars for other Premier League outfits. Traore could become the next name on that list and the Gunners should do all that they can at this stage to ensure that they’re the ones who will enjoy the bright future ahead of the forward.