Adama Traore hoping Barcelona education helps him thrive at Aston Villa

FC Barcelona

The 19-year-old winger had been on Barca's books since the age of eight before penning a five-year deal at Villa Park.

New Aston Villa winger Adama Traore is hoping that the lessons he learned during his time at Barcelona will help him thrive in the Premier League.

Traore, 19, was speaking to AVTV after sealing a £7 million move this week from Barca, who he first joined in 2004 at the age of just eight following a brief spell at neighbouring CE L'Hospitalet.

The former Spain Under-19 international went on to establish himself among the Catalan giants’ most exciting prospects while rising through the ranks of the famed La Masia, before earning his much-anticipated La Liga debut in November 2013.

The star-studded squad at the Nou Camp would restrict him to just three further senior outings over the next 18 months but, in the meantime, the skilful wide man has been able to prove his lauded potential for the club’s B team in the Spanish second division.

Emerging as the side’s talisman, he managed to record eight goals and 18 assists in 63 Segunda Division appearances during the past two seasons, while also completing an outstanding 243 successful dribbles last term – 63 more than any other player in Europe [h/t Opta].

With the B team since dropping down the third tier, however, and a first-team promotion failing to materialise, Traore felt the time was right to move on this summer and believe that Villa will give him a great chance to make the next step in his career.

He remains grateful for the footballing education Barca gave him, though, and now wants to showcase his Blaugrana schooling to the claret and blue faithful.

“At Barcelona, I grew up both as a person and as a football player, so I will always be grateful to the club,” he told AVTV. “I have learnt a lot of values from both a football point of view and a personal point of view and they taught me how to be a professional player, both on the pitch and off it.

“Now I just want to do my best at Aston Villa and continue to develop myself as a player and person.

“All of the players coming through the academy follow the example of Lionel Messi,” he added. “From him, you can see clearly how to be humble and work hard. Talent alone is not enough but you have to use it in the right way. Messi is an example of how to become a real professional football player.

“It has been an honour to play in such an important team in a big stadium and, most of all, to be surrounded by top class players. But also, they have helped me a lot to grow up day by day and they have taught me things.

“I have been in touch with them a lot and I feel thankful for that because it has been an honour to work with them but, most of all, I want to keep being surrounded by good players here.”

Traore could yet return to Barca in the future, however, with his five-year contract at Villa reserving the La Liga outfit the right to re-sign him within the first three seasons of the deal.

That stipulation was part of the reason Tim Sherwood’s side were able to secure his signature over reported rival suitors like Liverpool and Stoke [h/t Daily Mail] but, given his status as one of Europe’s top prospects, it seems like a gamble well worth taking for the Midlands outfit.

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