Tag Archives: Bertrand Traoré

Chelsea boy Traore helps Ajax be triumphant





A brace from Chelsea loanee, Bertrand Traore helped Ajax hit Olympique Lyonnais for four in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final tie at the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday evening to leave the four-time European champions with one foot in the final of a major continental competition for the first time in twenty one years.

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Despite the French side bagging a valuable away goal through a second half strike from Mathieu Valbuena, Ajax’s three-goal cushion sees Peter Bosz’s side head into next Thursday evening’s 2nd leg at the Parc OL very much in the driving seat.

With late strikes from first, Nick Viergever and then Amin Younes in the second half of extra time in Gelsenkirchen having seen Ajax clinch a first semi-final berth in continental competition in two decades, a subsequent loss in Eindhoven at the hands of outgoing back-to-back champions, PSV last time out had seen Bosz’s troops fall four points off the pace of league leaders, Feyenoord – who, with just two games of the domestic season left to play in the Netherlands, now seem certain to clinch their first Eredivisie crown since 1999, Ajax’s focus now centred on reaching the final of a European club competition for the first time since the then defending champions had narrowly lost out to Juventus following an agonising penalty shoot-out in the final of the UEFA Champions League at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico in 1996.

Remarkably, Ajax had managed to clinch a place in the last four of Europe’s second tier club competition despite having been reduced to ten men during the 2nd leg of their quarter final tie in Germany – Joel Veltman having been given his marching orders after the Dutch international had picked up a second yellow card for blocking the run of Algerian international, Nabil Bentaleb mid-way inside the visitor’s half ten minutes from time. As a result, both he and Viergever – who accrued one booking too many in Gelsenkirchen, were forced to watch the 1st leg from the stands with Jairo Riedewald and Kenny Tete drafted in as cover.

Having eventually seen off the challenge of Turkish champions, Besiktas following an epic penalty shoot-out – Lyon’s quarter final tie having ended 3-3 on aggregate after Bruno Genesio’s side had slipped to a 2-1 defeat in the 2nd leg at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul, the French side arrived in the Netherlands somewhat understrength with talismanic forward, Alexandre Lacazette only deemed fit enough for a place on the bench.

However, it was the away side who made much of the early running and Genesio’s side went close to taking the lead with just ten minutes on the clock when, having stolen a march on Davinson Sanchez, Maxwel Cornet’s sliding effort from close range was turned behind by a smart save by Andre Onana after Lucas Tousart had picked out the 20–year-old on the edge of the box with a sharp cut-back from the by-line.

Following a sluggish start to proceedings the home side suddenly came to life in the 25th minute and hit the front via the deftest of touches from Bertrand Traore – the Chelsea loanee glancing home a Hakim Ziyech free kick from the right which left Lyon ‘keeper, Anthony Lopes rooted to the spot.

Eleven minutes before the interval the hosts doubled their advantage when, having shown Mouctar Diakhaby a clean pair of heels, Danish starlet, Kasper Dolberg punished a poor clearance by Lopes that had only managed to find the head of Traore – whose vision had initially put the 19-year-old in the clear, by rifling home his twentieth goal in all competitions this term.

The home side could have enjoyed a three-goal advantage at the break but, having unlocked the visiting defence once more via a crisp give-and-go between both he and Ajax skipper, Davy Klaassen, Amin Younes was then denied by the reflexes of Lopes with a minute of the half remaining.

Having very nearly been made to pay for failing to put quarter final opponents, Schalke 04 to the sword during a dominant 1st leg display in the previous round, Bosz’s side emerged for the second half with purpose and added a third four minutes after the resumption when an incisive through ball from Ziyech found Younes with time and space to beat both Lopes and the best efforts of Diakhaby – whose clearance from behind the line came a split second too late.

The home side could have put the tie to bed three minutes later but, having dispossessed Nicolas Nkoulou just inside the visitor’s half, Dolberg saw his venomous effort from range repelled by Lopes, who, five minutes later, was again called into action – the Portuguese international this time turning away a Traore drive from the right edge of the area.

With a proverbial mountain to climb, the away side eventually showed signs of life and bagged a valuable away goal when Mathieu Valbuena rifled home from just inside the area after the home side failed to deal with a Christophe Jallet cross from the right in the 66th minute.

Genesio’s side had enjoyed their last encounter with Dutch opposition – having hit AZ Alkmaar for eleven over two legs earlier in the competition and, buoyed by Valbuena’s strike, the away side could have bagged a second just two minutes later but for the quick thinking of Onana who was out smartly to deny Nabil Fekir after substitute, Rachid Ghezzal had put the 23-year-old in the clear with only the Cameroonian to beat.

However, backed by a raucous home crowd which included the man who masterminded the club’s triumph in the competition (under its previous guise as the UEFA Cup) in  1992 before guiding Ajax to UEFA Champions League glory three years later – Louis van Gaal, the home side set themselves on track to emulate the club’s last ‘Golden Generation’ by restoring their three-goal cushion nineteen minutes from time when Ziyech teed up the home side’s star man, Traore for a close range finish with a rifled cross from the left after the Moroccan international’s unchecked run had initially been found by a perfectly weighted chip over the visitor’s back line by Klaassen.

Man of the Match: Bertrand Traore.



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Total Dutch Football 2014/15 Breakthrough Talent of the Season


Throughout this year’s campaign, we have seen some great talents emerge as scouts from all over Europe honed in on them. Myself and the remainder of the staff at TotalDutchFootball.com have been assessing who can be declared as the best ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Season’.

All staff were asked to name their top three talents. Each first pick received three points, second place received two points and one point was awarded for the third pick. The results are below…



Winner – JESUS CORONA (FC Twente) 5 points

The little Mexican nicknamed “El Tecatito”, signed on a free transfer aged 20 from Liga MX side Monterrey after rejecting a new contract from the Mexican club in 2013. After taking a while to settle in under Albert Schreuder, Corona now 22-years-old, has shown he is perfect example of a pacy winger with a tremendous dribbling ability to torment full-backs down either flank.

He appeared in 27 games for Twente this year, notching nine goals and supplying four assists, showing to be a shining light, in a what has been a disappointing season for his side. Tecatito’s consistency has enhanced his already impressive skills. His speed and trickery make him a very elusive footballer who provides depth to the team, which results in goal opportunities.

Due to Twente’s crippling financial status, Corona looks to be moved on next season and could end up leaving the Eredivisie. However, the young Mexican has finally shone in Holland and he is surely set to raise a big chunk of funds for the Enschede club.

Joint 2nd – MARK UTH & SAM LARSSON (Heerenveen) 4 points

The Heerenveen pair have been surprising successes for Dwight Lodeweges this year. Both used as replacements for summer sales, Alfred Finnbogasson and Hakim Ziyech respectively have excelled. The stocky German striker, Uth has scored 15 times in 32 outings to become the club’s top scorer and managed to use his strength to hold the ball up and created 10 assists. Also notching goals is Swedish winger Larsson with eight with four assists. Both players have linked with moves away themselves this coming summer, not an unusual process for Heerenveen.


ALBERT RUSNAK (FC Groningen) 3 points

TJARONN CHERY (FC Groningen) 3 points

ANWAR EL GHAZI (Ajax) 3 points

TOM VAN WEERT (Excelsior) 2 points

TERENCE KONGOLO (Feyenoord) 2 points




BERTRAND TRAORE (Vitesse) 1 point


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Chelsea’s Traore grabs crucial three points for Vitesse


A convincing warrior-like performance from Vitesse saw them nick all three points away from struggling NAC Breda, courtesy of Bertrand Traoré’s solitary strike writes Cian Woulfe.

The visitors came into this game high on confidence, fresh off the back of beating champions Ajax last weekend and Peter Bosz’s side thoroughly dominated the fixture in every aspect, restricting the helpless hosts to just three shots on goal.

Traoré, the Burkina Faso striker on loan from Chelsea, capitalised on an awful piece of defending from young defender Menno Koch, before sliding the ball past the desperate Ten Rouwelaar to win it for Vitesse.

The Arnhem side started the game brightly, when Traore shot straight at the goalkeeper, following clever build-up play from Marko Vejinovic and Valeri ‘Vako’ Qazaishvili. NAC struggled to make an immediate impact on the game, though due to Vitesse’s apparent susceptibility to a counter-attack, they were able to break free quite a lot.

Vejinovic almost scored one of the goals of the season on 19 minutes, when he hit a 40 yard free-kick towards the bottom corner, but Rouwelaar managed to tip it round the post, albeit bringing over-hopeful Vitesse supporters off their seats in the process.

Breda had their only clear-cut chance of the game on 35 minutes, when the aforementioned Koch, on loan from league leaders PSV, smashed an unmarked header just inches wide of the goal, as Eloy Room stood stranded in the visiting goal.

Denys Oliynyk should have been the man to instigate his side finally taking the lead when he sublimely chested down Vejinovic’s exquisite long-ball, but he blasted over on the turn, from close range.

The second half didn’t start quite so explosively as the first, with only a side-netting-bound shot from Zakaria Labyad threatening either goal in the first 10 minutes.

It then took a moment of slack defending from Breda’s back-line to set Traore poking the ball underneath the goalkeeper, silencing the Rat Verlegh Stadion.

NAC almost found a bizarre route into the game on 70 minutes however, when Adnane Tighadouini – former Vitesse player and NAC’s only bright spark in the game – sent a seemingly harmless cross over, only for it to fool Room and hit the inside of the far post and stun Vitesse’s defence, while sending the home crowd into overdrive.

Disappointingly though, rather than use that momentum and exploit the momentary lapse in Vitesse’s concentration, Breda failed to register another shot on goal for the rest of the game, allowing the jubilant visitors to see out the game with relative comfort, even being able to bring off star player Traore.

The only other chance at either side feel to Vako, when substitute and winner of the game against Ajax last week Uros Djurdjevic pulled the ball back, only for the Georgian midfielder to poke wide of an open goal.

The win sees Vitesse stay in 8th place, while panic-stricken NAC continue their miserable winless run and sit slumped in 17th.


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A mixture of high and low points will greet Vitesse fans when they think back to last season. Highs, such as a six-game winning streak that included wins away at Ajax and an astonishing 6-2 win away at PSV, were balanced out by low points like losing 4 out of the last 10 games of the season before being beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Groningen in the semi-final of the Europa League play-off writes Ryan O’Grady.

Last season’s goal tally of 65 was the 3rd best in the league, behind only Feyenoord and FC Twente, but with this summer’s departures 32 of those 65 goals have departed which is a huge loss and it will be extremely hard if not impossible to replace. This summer like last summer saw the departure of star players such as Lucas Piazon, who was Vitesse’s top scorer with 11 goals, and Christian Atsu who both returned to Chelsea after there loan deals expired. Star striker Mike Havenaar also departed this after scoring 10 goals last season. While he was a free agent his decision to sign for newly-promoted Spanish side Cordoba is somewhat surprising considering he was attracting interest from Napoli of Italy. The situation upfront is certainly worrying. After Havenaar the second top scorer in the strikers department was Kazaishvili with 4 goals and it remains to be seen whether new signing Abiola Dauda, who has a decent record at both Kalmar of Sweden and Red Star Belgrade of Serbia, can deliver the goods when needed. Another miss for Vitesse will be left back Patrick van Aanholt who returned to Chelsea before signing for Sunderland permanently. Van Aanholt made 29 appearances in the Eredivisie last year and also chipped in with four goals.

To try and compensate for the loss of van Aanholt the club have turned to Chelsea again, this time signing Brazilian right-back Wallace on a one-year loan deal. Another loan signing from Chelsea saw the return of Bertrand Traore, who made a great impression last season and was welcomed back with open arms. An important player for Vitesse this year will be right back come defensive midfielder Kelvin Leerdam. He made 28 appearances last year and contributed a brilliant 8 goals making him 3rd top scorer at the club. This summer Vitesse have played six preseason games, they started off with 4 draws against Cercle Brugge (1-1), Sparta Rotterdam (0-0), Osnabrück (2-2) and Hertha Berlin (0-0). The game away at Hertha was followed by a visit to Stamford Bridge to play against Chelsea, who took a 3-0 lead in the game before Vitesse pulled one back at the end. Their last pre-season friendly was against Bolton Wanderers and that resulted in a 1-0 win with a free kick from Vejinovic.


IN: Abiola Dauda (Red Star Belgrade), Arnold Kruiswijk (Heerenveen), Denys Oliynyk (Dnipro), Wallace (Chelsea).

OUT: Christian Atsu (Chelsea), Lucas Piazon (Chelsea), Marko Meerits (FC Emmen), Mike Havanaar (Cordoba), Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland).


The former Vitesse and Feyenoord midfielder was appointed last summer after previous manager Fred Rutten stepped down after leading the club to an impressive 4th placed finish. The former Netherlands midfielder has also played at a number of other clubs including RKC Waalwijk and even as far away as JEF United Ichihara in Japan. After retiring from professional football he became head coach of amateur side AGOVV Apeldoorn before moving to De Graafschap and then Heracles Almelo where he won the Eerste Divisie in 2005. In 2006 he became Technical Director at his old club Feyenoord, but he left his position in January 2009 due to his opposition of the sacking of then manager Gertjan Verbeek. In 2010 he replaced Verbeek as manager of Heracles, returning for a second spell as manager before joining Vitesse in the summer of 2013.


Great things are almost certainly to come from this youngster. It seems that Jose Mourinho believes he is good enough for the Chelsea first team but he is unable to play in the Premier League due to work permit problems. This led to the Vitesse management to take advantage of the two clubs controversial partnership and sign him on loan for another season. The club are quite clearly delighted to have him back; Vitesse Technical Director Mohammed Allach has been quoted as saying “he made a strong personal impression on us” and that “we are thrilled that Bertrand is joining us again”. He will probably get more than the 15 appearances he attained last season and will gain more valuable first team experience.





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Vitesse capture another Chelsea loanee


Vitesse Arnhem have loaned yet another Chelsea youngster to help their charge in the Eredivisie title race.

The 18-year-old Burkina Faso international, Bertrand Traoré, whom signed for Chelsea officially on January 1st, barely had time to unpack his bags as Blues boss Jose Mourinho has sent the midfielder onto the GelreDome until the end of the season.

A statement on the ChelseaFC.com said: “Traoré signed for Chelsea following a successful trial period with the club during the summer, and now heads to the Netherlands to gain first-team experience. Traoré will link up with a Vitesse side which is currently second in the Eredivisie, on the same points as leaders Ajax.”

Two further Chelsea youngsters on loan at Vitesse, English central defender Sam Hutchinson and French wideman Gaël Kakuta, have not made an impact in Arnhem so far this season and have been recalled to London.


Born in the city of Bobo-Dioulasso in his home country of Burkina Faso, Traoré joined Chelsea’s youth academy in 2011 after making his international debut at just 15 years old.

Mourinho was impressed with the youngster after viewing his performances in youth matches, and decided to take him on the club’s pre-season tour of Asia. Traoré went on to star in three games of the tour, scoring twice and was a stand-out performer as the Londoners strolled to a 4-1 friendly win against a Singha All Stars XI in July.

Chelsea’s main struggle was obtaining a work permit for him – entering the UK on a student visa, the Blues had to wait until Traoré was 18 to meet the legal criteria.

In Asia, he was featured out wide, although he will possibly star as central attacking midfielder for Vitesse.

Although, he has been known to have problems with fitness levels at time-to-time, Traoré’s use of the ball is his main plus point. A very proficient passer with great range, he is not afraid to take an opponent on and burn him for pace. He will also often sting the goalkeepers’ gloves with fierce shots from long range.

Vitesse have once again picked up a great talent from Mourinho’s side, and expect the Burkina Faso international to be a success like his Chelsea team-mates Lucas Piazón and Christian Atsu have so far in Arnhem this season.


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