Bénie Traoré had to wait a long time to finally make his first Sheffield United appearance after an issue with his visa process. Last Saturday, Tte Ivorian forward got a taste of what it’s like to play in front of a crowd at Bramall Lane.
Traore’s debut against Stuttgart saw him play for 73 minutes. He almost assisted his strike partner Will Osula with a well-placed pass, but Osula couldn’t take the shot in time and missed the opportunity.
This marked Traore’s first game in over a month due to visa delays, during which he trained with his United teammates for the first time this week. United provided him with physical training during the delay and will continue to work with him intensively in preparation for their Premier League opener.
As the Crystal Palace game nears, the training staff are aiming to ensure he’s in optimal condition for what he considers a potential “dream” top-flight debut. And with the lack of fit forwards at the club, this is a real possibility.
Rhian Brewster has only just got back into light training, and Oli McBurnie has stepped up his efforts since suffering a foot injury which kept him out of the majority of the pre-season games. Daniel Jebbison has also had injury worries over the past week or two. Will Osula, Louie Marsh and Bénie Traoré appear to be the only current fit forwards.
Speaking about his new striker’s performance against Stuttgart, Paul Heckingbottom said:
“If we would have been better with the ball and sustained the ball higher up the pitch [against Stuttgart] he has moments in him were he regains the ball high and comes alive and is a problem for defenders. But he was another one who found it tough out there.” [SUTV]