Earlier this week, an article from France claimed Stade Malherbe de Caen in Ligue 2 were considering making a move for Aliou Traoré, contracted to Manchester United.
The young midfielder, who has been often used as a left-winger this season in the club’s reserves, needs first-team football to continue his progression, and he could leave this summer to find it.
That’s what he told RMC Sport on Friday in an interview with the French outlet, who sat down with the 19-year-old to discuss his years in England and his future.
About to enter his fourth season with Manchester United, Traoré is happy at the club and has learnt a lot over the past three years, with the biggest learning curve coming this year when the manager changed his role.
He said: “I’m a box to box midfielder, but I was played on the left. It’s new, but it taught me a lot of things about my game. I learned how to dribble one on one, which I already knew how to do but the situations repeated themselves.
“I learned to cross with my left foot naturally even if I’m right-footed. I needed to make quicker decisions in the final third and close space defensively. Tactically, I became stronger when I played in the middle again. I know how wingers think and what they need. It’s a plus because I’m a player who likes to guide on the pitch. I can do it more easily now”.
With no regrets three years after leaving France, Traoré is glad he’s managed to develop at ‘one of the clubs of his dreams’.
Asked if he felt he is where he thinks he should be, he replied: “Yes and no. Yes because I think I’ve respected my potential. I’m a more complete player after three years. I’ve got more muscles and am mature physically. I think I’m a player ready for professional football.
“I’m happy with my three years, but at the same time, I saw myself a bit further already, playing and training more regularly with a professional group. These three years have to allow me to play as a pro. I’ve acquired a lot in Manchester that I want to exploit at another level now”.
As for what follows now, Traoré said he wants to ‘make his debut’, and while he ‘hopes’ it’s in Manchester, he also added: “Why not go find game time elsewhere if not? I’ve only got one year left on my contract, so I’m not closing the door [this transfer window], but if I leave it’s for a professional group.
“I don’t want to leave Manchester to be in the same situation somewhere else. I need an evolution in my progression, and it goes through a first-team”.
As for where he could end up, Traoré isn’t fussed and ‘will listen to opportunities’, wanting to go into a ‘project that makes sense’ to him.