The first few months on loan at Caen have been a harsh reality check for Manchester United youngster Aliou Traore.
Traore voiced his desire to play first team football in the summer after getting impatient in the under-23s.
It’s understandable. You only get one career, and Traore believes in his own ability, a necessary trait to reach the top.
Traore told RMC Sport in the summer [via GFFN]: “I would like to start a professional career. As I have said, I think I have the background to do so. I hope that happens in Manchester, if not then why not go and get playing time elsewhere.”
After being linked with both Rangers and Celtic as well as Benfica [Mail], Traore made the move back to France with Caen.
His stint with the second division side has not been simple. But after a tough start, he may finally be making progress.
Traore made his debut for Caen back in August, as a substitute.
This past weekend he finally made his first start for the club in a 2-1 win over Nancy.
Traore lined up on the right wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation and played 66 minutes in the victory, picking up a yellow card during his efforts.
A chance to kick on
Traore’s coach Pascal Dupraz told Sport Caen he wanted the players he brought into the side to have a positive effect on the team.
Caen had lost their previous match 3-1 to Paris FC, and so to this end, it worked.
This is a chance for Traore to kick on after a low key start to his loan spell in France.
Traore had four previous substitute appearances to his name, dating back to August.
Aside from this he had played three times as a starter for Caen’s B side, and has now worked his way into first team favour.
Over the course of the season he may begin to show what he is all about.
Traore’s prospects of making it at United do seem slim. Despite scoring four times in 14 matches for the under-23s last season, he was not included in United’s Europa League trip to Astana, nor did he train with the first time like others did.
His contract is currently scheduled to expire in June too. So over in France, he is playing for his future.
The young midfielder, 19, is a talent who is able to produce real highlight worthy moments. He has found at United that putting it together across 90 minutes on a consistent basis has been tough.
Traore has always been seen as more of a central midfielder than a right winger, so the role he played for Caen was not straightforward for him.
His loan side sit fourth in Ligue 2 with five wins from 10 games. It will be interesting to see if Traore can retain his place in the Caen side.
He has a long way to go to try and convince United he has a future at Old Trafford, but for the first time in three months, his loan spell is trending in the right direction and that should be encouraged.
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