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Bertrand Traore set to make Aston Villa bow in Robins cup clash

New boy Bertrand Traore is in line to make his Villa debut in tomorrow’s Carabao Cup third round tie at Bristol City.

Bertrand Traore (Photo: Kirill Venediktov)
Bertrand Traore (Photo: Kirill Venediktov)

The 25-year-old winger became the club’s fourth signing of the transfer window when he arrived in a £19million deal from Lyon.

And while a delay in receiving a work permit meant the Burkina Faso international was unable to feature in Monday’s 1-0 win over Sheffield United, he is expected to be involved at Ashton Gate.

“He couldn’t be involved on Monday because he wasn’t signed on time,” explained Villa boss Dean Smith.

“He needed to be signed by Friday lunchtime but with the work permit and Covid situation we couldn’t get it done on time.

“The paperwork has come through now so hopefully he will be ready for Bristol City.”

Villa have agreed to pay an initial £17m for Traore, with potentially a further £2m in add-ons.

The former Auxerre academy product is returning to the Premier League three seasons after leaving Chelsea for Lyon.

“He brings us extra quality that we need and competition for places if we want to be a high quality team. We are building toward that,” said Smith.

“Last season was a tough baptism, having to bed in a lot of players. This season it feels there is no newness about it. There is more of an expectancy, from myself, that we will be better this season.”

Villa made the best possible start to the league season with victory over the Blades, even if their performance was sometimes unconvincing.

Despite playing against 10 men for most of the match after John Egan was sent off in just the 12th minute, Villa rarely tested visiting keeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The goal they did score came from an increasingly-familiar source.

Ezri Konsa’s header means seven of Villa’s last nine goals have come from set pieces, something which was a focus of Smith’s coaching during last season’s shutdown.

Konsa headed home his second Premier League goal after Tyrone Mings had flicked on Matt Targett’s corner.

“We have worked on Ty getting across the near post and flicking it on and Ezri getting round the back,” said Smith. “It’s difficult when they go down to 10 and sit in with two banks of four.

“We do a lot of work on set pieces. Defensively as well. It is common knowledge we struggled before lockdown and since then we have been more aggressive and scoring goals as well.”

“I thought we dominated the game for long periods and created some good chances which would have seen us win by more.

“In the first half we showed a bit of impatience, but it can be difficult when a team camps in.

“I thought in the second half we were a lot more patient. We were camped in their half for long periods. There is more to come, that is for sure.”

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