Scout Report: Aliou Traore - 'The next Paul Pogba'
Manchester United are yet to sign a player in this transfer window. They are close to some of their targets but no deal is in place yet. However, Aliou Badara Traore has signed his first professional contract with the Red Devils.
The French national team already has some great midfielders with the likes of Paul Pogba, Tomas Lemar, N'Golo Kante, etc. and now add another young sensation, 17-year-old Aliou Traore to the list.
Traore was born on 8 January 2001 and started his footballing career at the age of 9. He first started playing for his home club, Sarcelles AAS. He spent four years at the club growing and learning. His efforts didn't go wasted. French giants, Paris Saint-Germain spotted his skills and signed him up for their academy in 2014.
His development was going well at the Parc des Princes but he wanted more game time and hence returned back to his home club in 2016. Manchester United scouts spotted the youngster and gave him a two-week trial at the Old Trafford.
The 17-year-old impressed the scouts and even scored a goal against Burnley in a U-17 fixture. Manchester United were impressed by his performance and then gave him a four-year contract with the club, which couldn't be signed until December because of international clearance.
Italian giants Juventus were also interested in the French sensation and were planning a late scoop for the player. However, United were able to fend off the interest and finally pinned down the player to a deal.
After his trial with United, he was called up for the France U-16 side earlier this year. He has so far made seven appearances, scoring twice in the process.
Traore has often been linked with Paul Poga because of his style of play. The 17-year-old is a box-to-box midfielder. He is extremely pacy and has a great first touch. Thanks to his pace, he is able to cover a large part of the ground and can switch between going forward and backward within a couple of seconds.
Traore also has an eye for the goal and has shown great promise when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net. A great dribbler, he also causes problems to the opposition's defence with take-ons.
Traore has captained the U-17 national side on numerous occasions. The fans and experts have spoken highly of his leadership skills and the qualities that he brings to the team.
Speaking to club's official website, Nicky Butt, head of Manchester United's academy said: “Aliou is a tremendously gifted young player and we are all delighted to see him sign his first professional contract at Manchester United. Aliou will naturally need time to adapt, but he has an exciting future ahead of him and we are all looking forward to seeing his performances for the Under-18s in the second half of this season.”
Just like any other youngster, the player lacks composure and patience. He gets too eager and at times is also selfish when it comes to scoring goals. It is understandable that Traore would like to get his name on the scoresheet as much as possible, but he also needs to learn about making passes when needed.
There is no doubt that when going forward, he is very good at it. However, he needs to work on his defensive skills as well. He is reckless and ends up giving free-kicks in dangerous situations.
He is just 17 and has plenty of time to improve his game and work on his weaknesses. The early signs are extremely good and the player has a bright future if given the right opportunity and guidance.
What happens next?
Having just signed a four-year contract with Manchester United, the player will now be playing for Kieran McKenna’s U-18 side. He would be hoping to improve his game tremendously so that he is able to follow the footsteps of players like Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Marcus Rashford by breaking into the first team at a very young age.
United made the mistake of selling Pogba only to re-sign him for a then transfer record fee. The club would not like to make the same mistake twice, especially with someone who has been termed as the next Paul Pogba.
The player has shown the qualities to be one of the top talents in Europe. It is all up to him to make the best of the opportunities that he receives to make it big in the footballing world.