Aston Villa boss Remi Garde explains what Adama Traore must do to earn playing time

Carlo Ancelotti with Remi Garde

The teenage winger has made just four substitute appearances in the Premier League and one Capital One Cup start since his summer move from Barcelona.

Aston Villa youngster Adama Traore must improve his teamwork to earn more playing time, new manager Remi Garde has told the Daily Mail.

Adama, 19, joined Villa from Barcelona in August for a reported £7 million fee, having made four senior appearances for the Catalan giants over the previous two seasons, while also recording eight goals and 18 assists in 63 games for their B team in the Spanish second division.

Considered one of European football’s top prospects, the skilful winger’s arrival in England was greeted with much fanfare but he has so far failed to live up to his billing, earning just four Premier League cameos for a total of 70 minutes and one Capital One Cup start.

Former boss Tim Sherwood reiterated on several occasions that he was far from the finished article and Garde seems to be of the same opinion, as the Spanish-born Malian failed to even make the bench in his first two games in charge.

Fans remain desperate to see the teenager get a chance to showcase his promise with the team sitting bottom of the table, but despite their attacking struggles, Garde has made no assurances about his future involvement.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Watford, the former Lyon manager stressed that Adama is in contention to see some first-team action over the coming games, but he also added that he needs to learn about “collective football” before he can be relied upon in a relegation battle.

"He’s not so far away, but he’s young in his understanding of the game,” Garde told the Daily Mail. "He played for Barcelona for a long time, that’s probably the best place to learn about collective football.

“But he still needs to work on this area of the game. He wants to improve and has done well on training. I’m happy with what he’s doing.”

 2015-16 Premier League GoalsAssistsKey PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesAccurate CrossesTotal DribblesDribble AccuracyDispossessedAppearancesMins Played
Adama Traoré 0 0 0 8 75% 5 0 14 38% 3 4 69

Adama made a hot start to life at Villa, scoring on his full debut in August’s 5-3 Capital One Cup second round victory over League Two side Notts County, but a nagging calf injury suffered in the second half of the win kept him sidelined for the next four weeks.

He made his comeback as a 69th-minute substitute in the 3-2 league defeat at Liverpool in late September, but his performance on the afternoon came in for criticism from the now departed Sherwood, as he attempted a match-leading eight dribbles but just four passes over the rest of the game.

“With Adama, you see the best and the worst of him and, unfortunately, we haven’t seen the best of him today,” Sherwood told AVTV after the Liverpool loss. “It’s hard for anyone to come on in the Premier League but it’s also very hard for anyone to be expected to adapt so quickly.

“He is a real threat but he can also be detrimental to your side at certain stages and he needs to learn – we knew that from the start.

“We elected to bring in these development players and I’m the one who’s got to work with them. I’m delighted to have that opportunity but it is going to be a roller-coaster ride.”

Garde himself is clearly learning that now, but given how highly-rated Adama was while rising through Barca's ranks, he will be hoping that the schooling the former Spain Under-19 international received at La Masia can soon help Villa in their survival bid.

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