Manchester United youngster Aliou Traoré recently joined Ligue 2 side SM Caen on loan. The club is in a tough spot, and they will look for fresh faces to help them get back to the top-flight. For Traoré, this loan means more minutes at the senior level. The player has expressed his desire to play for the first-team and could be willing to leave England to do so.
Aliou Traoré Joins SM Caen On Loan as He Opens The Door to Manchester United Exit
Stade Malherbe Caen Looking for Promotion
In the past 25 years, SM Caen has had a rocky ride between France’s top two levels of football. Their best-ever finish in Ligue 1 was fifth place in the 1991/92 season. It took them another 24 years to even come close to this result, as they achieved seventh place in 2015/16.
In the 2018/19 season, the club were relegated once again on the final day of the campaign after losing to Bordeaux 1–0. They needed to win the match and hope that results elsewhere would go in their favour. The relegation ended Caen’s five-year stay in France’s top division.
Last season, the Vikings under-performed as they took the 13th spot in Ligue 2. Pascal Dupraz will now look to take his squad back to the top-flight. The club where N’Golo Kanté and Thomas Lemar once played are not what they were, and the challenge to bring them back is a big one.
What Caen Fans Can Expect From Aliou Traoré
Traoré joined Manchester United’s legendary academy in 2017 from Paris Saint-Germain. For the Red Devils’ U18 side, he appeared 21 times in the league, contributing four goals and seven assists. He impressed immensely, as he was rapidly promoted to the U23 team.
The Frenchman played 14 times for Neil Wood’s side last season as the team finished second in Premier League 2.
Traoré is typically a box-to-box midfielder who likes to be in the middle of everything.
“I’m a player who likes to guide on the pitch,” he mentions to RMC Sport. This season, Neil Wood moved him to the flanks, where he has enjoyed the learning experience.
“The coach made me play on the left-wing. It was new but it taught me a lot of things about my game. I learned to eliminate one on one, I knew how to do it but there the situations repeated themselves a lot more.”
“I learned to [cross the ball] with my left foot naturally while I am right [footed]. I had to make quicker decisions in the last 30 meters and you have to close spaces defensively.”
Traoré also says the experience has helped him playing in his original midfield position: “Tactically, I came back stronger when I replayed in the [middle of the pitch]. I know what my wingers are thinking and what they need.”
Thinking About Leaving
Playing for Manchester United is a dream for many, but playing time is what’s important for the young Frenchman. Speaking to the French press, he mentioned his ambitions to play more often at the senior level.
“I would like to start as a pro. I think I have the baggage to do it. I hope it will be in Manchester, otherwise why not go and find playing time elsewhere. I only have one year of contract left so yes, I’m not closing the door. But if I’m leaving, it’s for a professional group. I need an evolution in my progression and that goes through a professional workforce,” Traore revealed to RMC Sport.
“I will be listening to the opportunities. Above all, I want to be part of a project that has meaning for me, a coherent project for the rest of my career.”
A statement from Traoré’s parent club read “The club will continue to prioritize individual development and provide the most challenging and beneficial environment for each player. For some, this will mean experiencing senior football at another club whilst younger players will regularly test themselves in older age groups”
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