Loaned out to both Vitesse Arnhem and AFC Ajax during his time at Chelsea, Bertrand Traoré impressed, yet, no matter what he did, he never managed to break through into the Blues’ first-team on a regular basis.
Bored of temporary deals elsewhere, the Burkina Faso international decided to take matters into his own hands and requested a transfer away from the club, which he obtained by signing for Lyon in France for around £9m.
Seen as a steal considering the 22-year-old’s potential, the deal has benefitted Lyon nicely, especially since Traoré is finally finding some form, scoring two goals in his last three games.
Speaking to Onze Mondial, the winger explained his decision to leave when asked why things didn’t work out at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “I don’t know. I fought. I made it to the first-team, but it’s nearly impossible to become a regular starter at Chelsea for a product of the academy, and I wanted to play regularly… I’m proud of what I achieved over there before leaving.
“Leaving the academy, making it into the first-team and scoring goals with the pros, that’s not too bad.”
He isn’t the only one to leave Chelsea after struggling to convince managers to pick him, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku making their names elsewhere despite being on the Blues’ books for a while.
However, for him, that doesn’t matter, even if leaving Stamford Bridge ‘was the best decision’.
Revealing he didn’t speak to Antonio Conte following his good loan spell at Ajax, it seems the Italian manager made it pretty clear the Burkina Faso star wasn’t part of his plans.
We’ll have to see who the real winner is in all this, but that might not become clear for a couple of years.
For now, though, Lyon aren’t regretting their decision.