Chelsea have confirmed the signing of young attacking midfielder Bertrand Traore, as reported on the club’s official website and Twitter account:
The Burkina Faso international—who first represented his club at the age of 15—impressed during Chelsea’s preseason tour of Asia. He netted a thunderous strike during the 8-1 win over Indonesia All Stars and also scored a calm finish in the 4-1 victory against Malaysia All Stars.
Chelsea were unable to tie up a deal until Traore’s 18th birthday, which arrived last month. As reported by the Press Association via The Guardian, centre-back Gary Cahill tipped the player for big things after working with him in preseason.
"He's a young lad, but I'm sure he's got a bright future at Chelsea."
Traore currently has 10 international caps and one goal for Burkina Faso. He is set to feature in the country’s 2014 World Cup qualifying playoff second leg against Algeria, a battle the Burkinabe lead 3-2 at the halfway mark.
The starlet played 15 minutes of the first leg and replaced Mohamed Koffi as the side searched for a goal, something they delivered with Aristide Bance’s late penalty, per FIFA. Should Burkina Faso advance, Traore could feature at next summer's tournament in Brazil.
Chelsea’s new signing also made one appearance at the African Cup of Nations and represented Burkina Faso in their triumphant run to the Africa Under-17’s Championship, per the club’s official report.
Will Bertrand Traore become a first-team star for Chelsea?
Traore is most likely to represent the Blues’ Under-21 side this season, playing alongside individuals such as Nathan Ake, Jeremie Boga and senior players who need match practice.
With the likes of Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle and Kevin De Bruyne at the club, he has the perfect opportunity to develop his game alongside some of the best attacking midfielders in the world.