Since 2011, Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traoré has been making huge strides in his football career . Starting with his first cap for his national team as a 15-year-old, the youngster has a lot of wishes and hopes to fulfill -- and one of them is being the first Burkinabe to appear in the English Premier League.
No player from Burkina Faso has played in the Premier League before. I wish I will be the first one and then more player will come.
Traoré spent a year and a half with Dutch club Vitesse, finishing last season as the club's top goalscorer with 17 goals across league and cup games. With José Mourinho assuring that the "good kid" will continue his development in London after successfully getting his work permit, he also wants to make the most out of this chance.
I am very happy to be here. I get to work with some of the best players in the world and one of the best managers. I am trying to do my best in every training session right now. It is something nice to have the support of the manager but I have to prove that I deserve to be here. I have to work hard, do my best and take my chance.
One could argue that Bertrand Traoré also holds the hopes of many Chelsea fans: he might just represent the first real fruit of success (no, Nemanja Matic doesn't count) from Chelsea's partnership with Vitesse. He believes that for his career, a loan to the Eredivisie was the right move.
I think my loan was very good. I learned a lot. I had a period of adaptation in the first six months then after I had a full season with the team including pre-season. It was much better. I learned a lot tactically. I also learned how to play without the ball, to defend, to play as a team, and I think I improved my mentality during my loan. All in all I was able to improve my performances and it was a good step in my career.
It's been demonstrated time and again just how difficult it is for youngsters to make the step from a loan to Chelsea's first-team. But given his track record, Traoré's transition might be as seamless as the other ones in his career.