Aliou Traore was compared to Paul Pogba before he had even kicked a ball for Manchester United’s academy. Fortunately he may have the talent to match.
Traore signed for the Red Devils last year and after an injury hit start, he is now making a big impression.
United snapped Traore up from Paris Saint-Germain’s academy and it already has the makings of a major coup the French side will go onto regret.
Traore in an unmissable presence in midfield in academy games. He is physically dominating and has the touch and quick feet to pair with his imposing figure.
He is comfortable in possession and has an impressive burst of pace to get away from an opponent. Already he has the makings of a complete central midfielder.
Nicky Butt described him as ‘tremendously gifted’ after he signed a pro deal earlier this year and the teenager has been proving him right.
Traore is making an impact
This season Traore is on fire for the under-18s. In seven games he has four goals and four assists.
He has figured in each of the under-19s UEFA Youth League games and his pressing led to a goal in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the last match.
Traore is a rare player who looks like he may live up to the hype of being compared with a first team star.
At just 17, time is on his side, and early signs look promising.
United showed just how highly the club rated him by tying him to a deal until 2021, ensuring they won’t lose him on a free as happened with Pogba in 2012.
By 2021, there is every chance Traore will be a first team player for United. Alongside Pogba. What a force they could be together.