Chelsea may have ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in last night's preseason friendly against Vitesse (i.e. Chelsea B), but that doesn't mean that the hosts didn't have their quality moments. One of their standouts was young Chelsea loanee Bertrand Traore.
Despite his young age and lack of any official matches for Chelsea, Traore is almost a household name thanks to his fairly weird association with Chelsea since age 15. A series of trials, preseason tours, and rumored transfers have kept him tied to the club, until we could officially lock him down to a contract last October after he turned 18. Before then, he had already impressed us on the Tour of Asia earlier that summer, and he continued to play well as he went on short-term loan to Vitesse in January.
Already a full Burkina Faso international, Traore unfortunately lacks the required number of games with the national team to qualify for a work permit. So this season he's back at Vitesse. Much to Jose Mourinho's chagrin.
"Traore does not play in England, because he has no visa. Otherwise, he would already be playing with us. Bertrand must now ensure that he plays enough international matches with Burkina Faso."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea TV
NB. If you have a subscription to Chelsea TV, you can see this at the 11:50 mark of the post-match press conference video.
While Mourinho also hints at a third player going to Vitesse to join Wallace ("also a player with potential") and Traore, the main takeaway should be the highest of high praises for the 18-year-old, whose Chelsea contract runs through 2018. Fortunately, that gives us plenty of time to get all the paperwork sorted out.