Traore’s interesting, but that’s never enough to be transferred
Arsenal, Udinese, Napoli. There are the teams that CFR Cluj presented until now as very interested in signing the Ivorian striker. Back in 2007, when he was playing for Stade D’Abidjan, there was a race between CFR and Sparta Prague and it seems that Traore made a good decision…
In January 2008, he came to Romania, but signed a contract during the summer, when he turned 18. Sent to play in the third division, managed to score there 15 goals in 13 matches and was handed a debut in CFR’s senior team and in the top flight by Dusan Uhrin Jr, on 4th of April 2009. Since then, he played in 19 matches, scoring five goals in the process. He also collected six appearances in the Europa League group stage, scoring two goals (against FC Kobenhavn and, ironically, Sparta Prague!). Although the naumbers aren’t impressive, he is the club’s top scorer in both competitions at this point.
Interesting enough, the guy wasn’t initially on the registration list that was about to be sent to UEFA, but he made it in the final days, after his only second match played at the beginning of the season, when he scored the winner in the 1-0 home victory against Otelul Galati.
The guy has a nice combination of pace and skill for a player of his size, 198 cm and 85 kg, and isn’t the centre-forward type. Instead, he likes to run the channels and to be served ball into feet, which makes sense if you think of Arsenal’s interest, right? He’s also naturally better than most of his opponents in the air, even though he needs to improve in terms of strength, which should help him both in the aerial duels as well as on the ground.
Traore’s estimated value (by his own club) is 4-5 mil. EUR. So, I believe Udinese is out of the question, given the Italians’ famous scouting network and their history of bringing into Serie A cheap talent from Africa and South America. Arsenal? I think the age, not the price would be the problem. Has Wenger gone mad and started to buy such old players already? :-) Napoli? Well, I have nothing against it really, although I’d expect the Italians to try and bring in players with a higher profile, given their excellent season and always growing ambitions.