Bertrand Traore - The hot prospect at Chelsea who can't play

Stamford Bridge Outside

Currently Bertrand Traore is not able to play in official fixtures for the club. The tall and powerful midfielder is a full international for his Burkina Faso homeland and is a hot prospect for the future so why is he not playing?

Bertrand Traore is considered one of the hottest prospects in Chelsea’s youth system. The Burkina Faso international has scored eight goals so far in this campaign as confirmed by the Chelsea Youth Twitter account:

However he has not yet featured for Chelsea or the youth teams in any official fixtures; just friendlies.


While no official word can be sourced on the reason behind Traore’s continued absence from competitive fixtures for Chelsea FC the educated guess would have to revolve around potential problems with a work permit. Indeed in the past reasons such as ‘paperwork issues’ can be found online which would suggest his absence is a question of mere admin.

On the face of it you can see why he would struggle to obtain said permit. Any footballer over the age of 16 wishing to play for a club in the UK who is not from the European Economic Area covered by the Bosman and Kolpak landmark transfer rulings must acquire a valid work permit. The country the player is from must be in the top 70 of FIFA’s official World Rankings and they must have played 75% of the countries competitive international fixtures in the two years previous to the application.

In Traore’s case both of these factors raise issues. Burkina Faso are currently ranked 89th in the world so they fall down on that criteria and so far Traore has played just five times for the full national side, but is hopeful of selection for the upcoming African Cup of Nations.

In fact that could prove a vital competition for his development. If Burkina Faso were to progress past the Group Stages they could be in with a shout of pushing that number 70 ranking and if Traore plays a part he will be boosting his appearances for the national side.

Chelsea signed Traore from Auxerre in August 2010 and it is likely they signed him under the presumption that Traore had a French passport like his elder brother and current Lorient player Alain Traore. However that does not seem to be the case considering his current situation. Under current rules Bertrand Traore is able to remain in the UK while seeking his Work Permit for three years, relating to various qualifying factors such as his grasp of the English language, club sponsorship and sufficient funding to remain in the country.

That means the opportunity to hold on to Traore is starting to dwindle; if indeed a work permit is the issue. In August next year if he has not met the significant criteria Chelsea may lose their talented starlet to somewhere with less stringent rules on foreign players.

Here is a video where he is in action along with Lucas Piazon and Islam Feruz…

Do you hope Chelsea manage to sort out their issues surrounding Bertrand Traore?

image: © Tom Cuppens

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