Ajax's Traore aiming to score against Man United on Jose Mourinho reunion
Ajax striker Bertrand Traore is looking forward to a reunion with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho when their clubs meet in Wednesday's Europa League final in Stockholm.
Traore, on loan from Premier League champions Chelsea, was given his first-team debut by Mourinho when United's manager was in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
"I'll give him a hug," Traore said. "I'm excited to see him. Since he left Chelsea I haven't met with him so it will be good to see him. But I also have to score against him.
"This final is very important for us and our young careers. It is a dream for us to play in this game and to win it would be a really big thing for us.
"I owe him a lot. I learnt everything on the pitch, and showing big character on the pitch. It's not just about playing with the ball and doing what you can do, it is about showing your character in the game, the character to push until the end, to rush back and defend and attack as well. Unfortunately it was not so long and I couldn't learn more but I was happy to learn many things from him."
Traore has achieved his goal of playing regularly after being sent on loan by Antonio Conte last summer and he hopes to have impressed the Chelsea manager.
"When I was leaving for here we had a chat before I arrived," Traore said of Conte. "We had a good conversation and I just had to come here to progress, do well and get some game time, some minutes, then get my game intensity high and then we'll see.
"I wanted to get more minutes and that is what I did and in the end of it we are in the final of the Europa League. So I think it has been a great loan move for me. When the season is finished I'll go back to Chelsea and for sure we will have a chat."
Victor Moses' breakthrough this season after three loans offers hope to the likes of Traore and the 21-year-old hopes to follow in the footsteps of his Chelsea teammate.
"If you see that players are going on loan, doing well and coming back and having the opportunity to play, of course it is encouraging," he said. "I am on loan and it gives you more power to push, come back and get more opportunities."
John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.