Adama Traore has joined Middlesbrough after a disappointing spell with Aston Villa. He only featured ten times in the Premier League last season, all of which came as a substitute. It was a tough start to his career in England as the environment at Villa wasn’t suited to young players. However, he remains highly rated and Aitor Karanka will know that he is worth the risk.
He arrived last summer for £7 million and was expected to play a big part, but he wasn’t given a real chance when he was fit and available. Throughout last season, Villa fans were wondering why Traore wasn’t given more game time, especially when exhibiting such raw and untapped potential when on the field, and he will be hoping for more opportunities at Middlesbrough.
Christian Stuani has been playing on the right in the last two league matches and has performed well. However, Traore is a natural winger and his arrival will excite Middlesbrough fans. He is direct, possesses plenty of pace and has the ability to beat players. Although he is a talent, his confidence will have taken a hit at Aston Villa and he will need time to rebuild it over the coming months.
Aitor Karanka has already helped Gaston Ramirez make an impact in England and he looks to be a good man manager. Traore is only 20 years of age, and has huge potential if managed correctly. That wasn’t the case at Aston Villa, which has set back his development, but he is still young and will benefit from playing in the settled environment at Middlesbrough.
The arrival of Traore spelt the end for Albert Adomah, who has gone the other way to Aston Villa, albeit in a separate deal. He was an important part of their promotion winning side and his departure has shocked some. It is clear that Karanka isn’t convinced about Adomah’s ability to influence matches in the Premier League.
It is an interesting decision from Middlesbrough as they have sold a player who had helped them get into the Premier League in order to sign Traore. Despite his failure at Villa, he is an exciting young player and there is the possibility of nurturing him into a Champions League player. Adomah was unlikely to develop, while Traore can be moulded into the player that Middlesbrough need on the wing.
Middlesbrough now have an exciting winger capable of producing moments of brilliance. His pace is a weapon the team doesn’t have at the moment with Stuani and Stewart Downing on the flanks. It is a big risk, but the potential rewards are enormous and Karanka will believe he can restart the youngster’s career.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the deadline day deal:
Middlesbrough fans thought it was a good move by the club:
We've actually replaced Albert Adomah with Adama Traore… Great piece of business yet again from the club.
— Jake (@jrs97_) August 31, 2016
— Michael Oakes ?? (@radioakes) August 31, 2016
— Boro News and Scores (@Up_The_Boro_MFC) August 31, 2016
Adama Traore is absolute lightning, can't wait to see him play #boro
— Jack (@JackATaylor_) August 31, 2016
Some weren’t so convinced:
If Adomah goes and Adama Traore comes on then it's back to square one
— Joshua Murphy (@joshuamurphy9_) August 31, 2016
— James (@jameswh73) August 31, 2016
Villa fans thought he should have been loaned out:
— Jacko (@Jacko__10) August 31, 2016
I wouldn't have sold Adama permanently has talent but the people who say he has world class ability are morons #avfc
— Jordan MacGeever (@jords_mac) August 31, 2016
Although they never really got the chance to see what he could do:
Again potentially Adama has it all. But he's made of glass and way too selfish on the ball. Shame but won't be missed #avfc
— Villa Till I Die (@VillaTill) August 30, 2016
His injury record didn’t impress:
— James Gorton (@gortavfc) August 30, 2016
There is still hope that Traore will fulfil his potential:
— Dave (@Tweets_of_Dave) August 31, 2016
— Ryan Kelly (@rkelly93) August 31, 2016
Adama Traore to @Boro is one of the best signings of the window. A top player who will make it to the top, if he stays clear of injury!
— EssexFootballCoach (@EssexFCoaching) August 31, 2016
Featured image: All rights reserved by Francisco Javier Fernandez
Valued at £25m, Aston Villa and West Ham could have got Benjamin Pavard in 2016
The Stuttgart defender is wanted by top Premier League sides.
This week has seen Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard linked with a move to the Premier League. The 21-year-old is reportedly a target for both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Bild reported this week that the Bundesliga side will not be considering any offers below €30 million (£26.5million).
It is a fantastic rise up the ranks from the Frenchman. After coming through the youth set-up in France with Lille he headed to Germany in 2016. The youngster helped Stuttgart win promotion back to the Bundesliga where he has now been showcasing his best form. Such form saw Pavard even earn his first French international call-up.
For West Ham and Aston Villa, this progression signals a missed opportunity. Back in December 2015 it was reported by Goal that both West Ham and Aston Villa had made an approach to sign Pavard. The then 19-year-old right-back had caught the eye with Lille. Villa were battling relegation at the time and looked to strengthen their leaky defence. West Ham were looking to add fresh faces to their backline.
Neither side managed to get Pavard. In the end he joined Stuttgart for a fee reported to be in the region of €5 million (£4.5 million) by Le Monde.
Now that fee looks like an absolute bargain for a player who looks destined to be heading to the World Cup with France. Pavard would have been a shrewd addition by either Aston Villa or West Ham – but both sides missed out.
Now it looks as though a fee nearer to £30 million will have to be shelled out if one of the Premier League elite want to get their hands on the 21-year-old.
If only Aston Villa or West Ham had managed to get their man back in 2016.
James Bree must take his opportunity at Aston Villa
The full-back may get a first-team chance now that Neil Taylor joined Aston Villa’s injury list.
Aston Villa take on Bolton Wanderers this weekend and will be wanting to get back to winning ways following their shock defeat at the hands of QPR in midweek. Villa will have to do so however with something of a defensive crisis, in particular at full-back.
Neil Taylor suffered a groin injury in the QPR defeat. He joins fellow full-backs Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe on the treatment table, the pair suffering with hamstring strains.
Aston Villa could of course revert to a three at the back formation. Or this could be the perfect opportunity for James Bree to show what he is capable of.
Villa signed the young defender from Barnsley last January for a fee reported by the Birmingham Mail to be in the region of £3 million. It looked a sharp piece of business for a young defender with bags of potential.
However, his career at Villa Park has so far been mostly bit-part. Bree played just seven times last season after his move and this term has started just once in the Championship.
He was on the bench for the recent QPR game but with so many Villa players missing, surely now is the perfect time to draft him in.
Bree is admittedly more comfortable as a right-back, but he is easily the closest fit and most obvious solution to the left-back shortage.
The 20-year-old is clearly a big talent. However, he has spent too long watching from the bench since the Villa move.
Bree should certainly be given the chance to play at full-back this weekend by Steve Bruce. If Bree gets that chance the youngster needs to make sure he grabs the bull by both horns and reminds Villa just why they shelled out on his precocious talent.
The injuries are undoubtedly a blow, but Bree getting some game time and proving himself to Steve Bruce? That could be the silver lining in this cloudy news.
Aston Villa fans react to Mile Jedinak performance v QPR
The Australian struggled to cope with playing two games in quick succession.
Aston Villa’s automatic promotion hopes took a big hit yesterday, when they found themselves picked apart by QPR at Villa Park.
The London side won 3-1, with goals from Ryan Manning, Jake Bidwell and Luke Freeman doing the damage. Aston Villa struggled throughout the game and one player who came in for a lot of the stick was midfielder Mile Jedinak.
Well, it was not so much him, but the way he was used by manager Steve Bruce. Many fans at Villa Park were surprised to see the Australian in the starting line-up. He had just played 90 minutes in the 4-1 with against Wolves and put in an excellent performance.
Aston Villa fans however felt he should have been given a subsequent rest.
At 33-years-old Jedinak’s fitness is not what it once was and Villa fans would have preferred to see Icelandic international Birkir Bjarnason line up instead.
Jedinak was clearly in the side to try and alleviate the aerial threat posed by QPR but he struggled to do so in the game. Throughout the game Jedinak lost plenty of aerial battles and his performance was not well received by Aston Villa fans.
He even slipped into the Aston Villa defence during the game, which did not see him improve his display.
Jedinak is a top player but, at 33, asking him to play twice in the space of a few days seemed to be a mistake from Bruce.
With Cardiff and Wolves also playing and winning last night, it will hopefully not prove a costly mistake from the Aston Villa boss.
Here is what the Aston Villa fans had to think about the decision to play Jedinak…
Said it before and will say it again, Jedinak just doesn’t work in this kind of game…useless at home unless it’s in a derby where you have to be gritty…should have made a couple of changes from Saturday #avfc
— Richard Franks (@richardpfranks) March 13, 2018
Bjarnason over Jedinak on Saturday thank youuuuu
— Jake (@NooneAVFC) March 13, 2018
He should have made changes. Jedinak and Hourihane looked knackered. #AVFC
— Steve (@steve81_steve) March 13, 2018
BB over Jedinak but I don’t rate Lansbury at all
— James Lloyd (@LloydyAVFC) March 13, 2018
Only reason Bruce had stuck with Jedinak was because he could win the long balls which he hardly did.
Should had gone with Bjarnasson or even Lansbury. Villa just never turned up what so ever! #AVFC
— Brad Worledge (@bradworledge_) March 13, 2018
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but yeah, we should have made changes. Jedinak in particular was a weird one. For automatic now we have to win every game. Nothing else will be enough. Feel so beaten tonight, it’s the hope that kills you – but this team could do it still. #avfc
— Alex Berwick (@Alex_Berwick) March 13, 2018
Think it’s telling that after Saturday’s draining encounter, Wolves made four changes tonight. Bruce couldn’t expect a performance from the same 11 and should have made changes. At the very least, Birkir should have been in for Jedinak. #AVFC
— Jupiter Janus (@BraddersOak) March 13, 2018
A massive problem we had tonight was Jedinak was so concerned with Smith in the air he left massive space in the midfield. #avfc
— Adam Bevan (@Adam_Bevan_Avfc) March 13, 2018
Yeah the Taylor one was forced tbf but still bizarre what happened! Will be same excuse if we lose after this fucking pointless international break too! Not sure how jedinak played 90mins i love the bloke but his role is irrelevant once we go 1 goal down never mind 2
— Jordan Spencer (@JordAvfc) March 13, 2018
Bruce got that completely wrong tonight. We could all see that he should’ve changed it up tonight, Jedinak was knackered on Saturday so don’t know why he started. Changes should have been made after half an hour, not waiting until the bloody 80th minute to bring Bjarnason on.
— Aston Villa Daily (@AVFC_Daily) March 13, 2018
One of those nights unfortunately. Just didn’t click in the final third and got caught out twice on the counter. Think we needed a bit of rotation, the likes of Jedinak looked very leggy after 15 minutes. Bruce admitted he was wrong to keep the same team and I have to agree. ??
— G_AVFC (@AVFC_G) March 14, 2018
I wouldn’t of played jedinak night, for all the slack o gave him for starting Saturday he done a job then, but asking an 89 year old to play CDM twice in 72 hours is madness #avfc
— Matthew Sabin (@MattBrumSabin9) March 14, 2018
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