After a slight delay due to work permit issues, the eighteen-year-old Burkinabe joined the Arnhem club after the winter break last season. After taking some time to settle in, Traore scored three goals in the final five Eredivisie matches (including his first-ever goal as a professional at the club level).
Traore's return is nothing short of a coup for the Arnhem club. Traore can play as the lone striker or on the wing and should not only be a regular starter, but also one of the focal points of Peter Bosz's offense.
When Traore first arrived, just about everybody at Vitesse raved about his talent. In particular, technical director Mo Allach was excited about having such a talented player join the club. On the news of Traore's return, Allach appeared similarly excited, stating "we are delighted that Bertrand is joining us again. He is familiar with our work and our playing style, and his personality has impressed us."
In addition, CEO Joost de Wit pointed to the fact that having a player like Traore at the club, who he feels could play for some of the best clubs in the world, is one of the reasons why the Chelsea partnership is so beneficial to both clubs. Vitesse gets an excellent young talent, and as de Wit put it, young players need time to grow and Vitesse offers the best environment for them to not just develop, but develop the right way.
While Allach and de Wit certainly appear to be happy that Traore is returning to Arnhem, it is manager Peter Bosz who is perhaps Traore's biggest fan at Vitesse. Bosz feels that Traore is unquestionably a special player.
When Traore first arrived at Vitesse last season, Bosz put Traore through a posession-based drill at training just to see if Traore was truly as gifted as he'd heard. This drill involved several players in a small space, and according to Bosz, it's the most difficult possession-based drill he uses.
Bosz said that it usually takes months for a new player to adapt to this drill, but Traore was successful on that very first day of training.
As mentioned, Bosz will be willing to deploy him at either wing or up top. According to Bosz, Traore's best position is on the right wing, as he likes to use his left foot to drift inside (in his words, more like Lucas Piazon then Arjen Robben). In order to give the wingers freedom to drift inside, the fullbacks need to overlap, so expect to see Traore work heavily on communication with his fellow Chelsea loanee, Wallace.
However, with Renato Ibarra playing for Ecuador in the World Cup and having played very well on the right wing for Vitesse last season, I could envision Traore playing up top (he scored all three of his goals while playing as the lone striker).
Bosz also praised Traore's maturity and intelligence on the pitch, stating that he rarely loses the ball and doesn't make silly mistakes. Specifically, Bosz recounted a story from Traore's debut last season when he was leading a counter-attack with Patrick van Aanholt. Bosz said that nine out of ten players would have made the easy decision to lay it off to van Aanholt, but Traore drew in the defender, and once he made the defender commit, only then did he pass the ball to van Aanholt, who, as a result, had a clear shot on goal.
Peter Bosz does not strike me as a man who is particularly given to flattery, and so if he's high on Bertrand Traore, then it behooves the rest of us to stand up and take notice.