Jose Mourinho has described new Chelsea signing Bertrand Traore as “one of the best talents of his age”.
The Burkina Faso international -- who has already won ten caps for his country -- impressed during the club’s tour of Asia in the summer, but Mourinho was unable to complete the deal until he turned 18.
Traore officially signed on Thursday from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso on a four-and-a-half year deal, subject to receiving a work permit.
“He’s a great talent, that the club has followed for a long time, before me, that I wanted to take to preseason, to have a view of two, three weeks and play with us and play in front of important crowds, of 60,000, 70,000 like we have in Asia of course against easy opposition but some situations hard for a kid.” Mourinho said.
“We think the kid has a bright future so we could get him. Of course we could get him. We have to wait for other things, work permit, so on and so on but we have a kid that is in our opinion is one of the best talents of his age.”
“He has [made an impression] in preseason. I keep saying, against nice opposition, but he was making this impact. He has played since he was 16 in his national team and African national teams are good sides, especially Burkina [Faso] is a side with talented players.
“It looks like mentally he’s also very stable. He comes from a family of footballers, the father, the brother, so I think it’s his natural habitat, the kid looks very comfortable and good players they have no age. I think the kid is ready to make an impact, yes.”
It may initially be difficult for Traore to force his way into the team, however, as Mourinho discussed the “bad feeling” he suffers in having to leave so many high-performing players out at present. Chelsea’s strength in depth was illustrated midweek with a 2-0 win away at Arsenal in the Capital One Cup, despite making 10 changes from the XI that defeated Manchester City the previous Sunday.
“I don’t say headache, “Mourinho explained of his dilemma. “I say bad feeling because it’s not easy for me to leave some players at home, it’s not easy for me to leave some players on the bench because I think everybody deserves to play, and to have all these choices is a big problem.
“To have all the players playing well and being very much committed with the group is fantastic but to be the responsible man to say you don’t play, you are not selected, you go to the bench, you go to the stands. In this moment is very hard because I feel that I am unfair with all of them, the ones I’ve not selected I’m unfair on them because they have done everything, they cannot do anything else than what they are doing.
“When they are on the bench and come in, they did everything, they make an impact. When they have a chance to play, they have an impact and play well. When I change the team, and the new people come, they play a magnificent match. So it’s a difficult feeling for me because I’m unfair with some of them.”