After many years as a trialist with the Chelsea Academy and then as a loanee in the Eredivisie, Bertrand Traoré's path to the Chelsea first-team has been a rather odd and uniquely circuitous one. But he finally qualified for a work permit last summer and has gotten to officially play in Chelsea colors.
Not many loanees ever get to bridge that gap to the first-team; for that alone, Traoré should be held up as shining example (alongside Thibaut Courtois) that the system can and does work. But if the latest, not totally unbelievable rumors are true, all that hard work and unlikely success could've been for naught.
Loanee rumors are a dime a dozen, but this one does involve Peter Bosz, now at Ajax, but who was Traoré's coach back at Vitesse when the then-winger made the transition to center forward. Bosz placed his faith in the kid back then to good effect, and if he were to lose Arkadiusz Milik, as many rumors claim he's going to, it's entirely conceivable that he would be willing to turn to Traoré once again.
Whether on loan or as a permanent move*, losing Traoré at this point however would be a step backwards, not just for him, but for the Chelsea loanee program overall. At worst, he seems set for a third-choice role this season (behind Costa or Costa's replacement, and Batshuayi), but with Conte set on using two strikers, that should result in Traoré getting plenty of minutes and adding many more games to his 16 appearances from last season.
So, let's not mess this up.
* Traoré's current deal is set to run out in two years. It's time to give him a new contract.