Bertrand Traore has joined Aston Villa from Lyon in a deal that may eventually rise to £19m.
The Burkino Faso international returns to the Premier League having left Chelsea for the French club 3 years ago.
Traore’s 3 seasons at Lyon were indifferent. A bright start seeing the winger score 18 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions would be the peak of his time across the channel.
The following season saw him chip in with 11 goals in 48 games and finally, in 2019/20, Traore only managed 4 goals in 35 appearances. Lyon heavily rotated their squad with a wealth of attacking talent.
Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele, Karl Toko-Ekambi, Martin Terrier and Maxwel Cornet were getting more playing time and the 25-year-old was being used less and less.
Lyon have admitted that they would need to move players on should suitable offers arrive. Without Champions League football and the impact of COVID-19, the French club need an injection of money through sales to fund moves.
Traore appeared to be surplus to requirements, so, his sale will have likely been less of a concern than that of other rumoured departures such as Houssem Aouar.
Aston Villa’s 41 goals was enough to keep them safe last season. Relegated Bournemouth scored 40 but 4 sides who finished above the west midlands club scored less. It certainly was not a lack of goals which put Villa in danger.
Villa have invested heavily in improving their attacking options. In addition to Traore, Ollie Watkins arrived from Brentford and the season prior, Wesley and Mbwana Samatta – joined taking the clubs spending on attackers near the £80 million mark.
Brentford’s Ollie Watkins after the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi final second leg match at Griffin Park, London. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Villa’s defensive record was the second worst in the league. Only bottom placed Norwich City conceded more goals. Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Nottingham Forest’s Matty Cash have both joined for around £36million.
However, the need for further reinforcement to the standout Tyrone Mings is imperative if the club wish to maintain their Premier League status for another season. Goals alone may not be enough.
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