Alan Hutton has bemoaned Bertrand Traore’s “difficult” start to life at Aston Villa after he picked up an injury against Southampton.
The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted that the summer signing looked “bright” and “unpredictable” during his 30 minutes against the Saints.
The Express and Star report that Dean Smith is hopeful the 25-year-old will be fit enough to face Arsenal on Sunday after he was forced off in what was his first Premier League start for the club.
Traore did feature in the starting XI against both Bristol City, where he scored on his debut, and Stoke City in the League Cup, while he made four substitute appearances in the league.
Hutton has suggested that the spot on the right of Villa’s attack is “up for grabs” and that he hoped the Burkina Faso international could return to the side swiftly.
Hutton told Football Insider: “He’s had to bide his time, it’s obviously been difficult for him since the move, he’s not had many minutes.
“He’s played in the likes of cup games and come on as a sub but given the start and I think it’s the one position in the team that’s up for grabs, that right side of the three.
“Given the opportunity, he looked bright, he looked sharp, he got in pockets of space, he turned, he made things happen – he’s that kind of player who’s unpredictable, you don’t really know what he’s going to do.
“It’s a shame for him to pick up a little niggle, it looked like it was his groin or something so hopefully it’s not as bad as we thought because he did go off as soon as he felt it. Hopefully, he can make a quick recovery.”
Traore has the likes of Trezeguet and Anwar El Ghazi for competition on the wing.
The Egypt international, who came off the bench against Southampton, has been Smith’s preferred option with five league starts this season.
In other Aston Villa news, Gabby Agbonlahor has revealed what is likely to be the next blockbuster player deal at Villa Park.