Tim Sherwood explains why Aston Villa fans may have to wait for Adama Traore's debut

Villa Park 6

The 19-year-old new boy has been labelled a "developmental player" by his new boss.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has moved to cool the initial expectations surrounding new signing Adama Traore, insisting at his pre-match press conference ahead of the weekend’s clash at Crystal Palace that the former Barcelona winger is a developmental player and was brought in with the future in mind.

Traore, 19, arrived at Villa last week in a £7 million switch from Barca, who he first joined in 2004 at the age of eight following a brief spell at neighbouring CE L'Hospitalet.

The former Spain Under-19 international went on to establish himself as one of the Catalan giants’ top prospects before earning his La Liga debut in November 2013, but strong competition for places would restrict him to just three further senior outings over the next 18 months.

He was able to showcase his clear talent for the club’s B team in the Spanish second-tier, however, recording eight goals and 18 assists in 63 Segunda Division appearances during the past two seasons.

With Barca B since dropping down to the third tier, though, and no first-team promotion materialising, the promising wide man sought out a move this summer and was reported to have had a number of big-name suitors before ending up at Villa [h/t Daily Mail].

His La Masia schooling has meant that his arrival has received a huge amount of fanfare and the emerging youngster showed signs of things to come in Monday night’s Under-21s match against Derby County, when he dazzled with his blistering pace and dribbling prowess for a full 90 minutes.

Plenty of fans are now hoping to see him play some part in Saturday’s Palace clash but Sherwood has now cast some doubt over his potential involvement, stressing that Traore has a lot of work to do to prove his Premier League credentials.

“I think we need to remember that he's a 19-year-old boy coming from Segunda,” the Villa boss told the press. “He's only played 63 times in that division. With respect, it's a million miles away from the Premier League.

“He's a development player. He's been brought in here for the future of the football club.

“Hopefully we can see him at some stage this season. But for now, we need to cool our jets with him because he's a young boy developing.

“He realises that. He's got a long way to go.”

Traore might not feature against Palace then, but the game could mark the return of both Grealish and Gil, who are back to full fitness following pre-season injuries and look set to give Villa a big creative boost.

Sherwood now has an almost full squad to choose from for the third match of the season, with defenders Jores Okore and Jose Angel Crespo the lone absentees at his point.

“We're pretty healthy at the moment,” he added. “Jack Grealish and Carles Gil came through an U21s game on Monday, which was satisfying. That's good news for everyone.

“I think there's only Jores Okore and Jose Angel Crespo who won't be fit. Some guys need a bit more training - physical training - but everyone is healthy.”

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