Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has told the Birmingham Mail that the inconsistency of Adama Traore keeps him out of the team.
Traore, 19, joined Villa from Barcelona over the summer having starred for the Catalan giants' B team, and his arrival was seen as a hugely ambitious move from Villa.
However, the Spanish teenager has made little impact at Villa Park so far, and has remarkably been restricted to just 94 minutes of Premier League action.
All of those appearances have come as a substitute, including a cameo against Arsenal last week - and his role as a substitute has once again sparked questions about why he doesn't play more often, having gone on one dazzling run from his own half into the Arsenal box before firing wide.
Given that Villa are bottom of the table with just six points to their name, they need a spark desperately, and many fans believe that Traore can bring it with his combination of pace and power.
However, ahead of this weekend's game against Newcastle United, manager Garde has told the Birmingham Mail that Traore is simply too inconsistent to be starting.
He also compared Traore to Lionel Messi in that he is great on the ball, but Villa - unlike Barcelona - can't afford for Traore to switch off when his side are out of possession, urging the winger to work hard without the ball as well as with it.
"He is inconsistent in his game," said Garde. "You cannot have a player except for maybe Messi who can walk on the pitch and only play when his team has the ball. Nobody can do that. I saw the first training session and watched a lot of Adama’s videos on what he has done previously."
"He is very gifted, I know that. He has some brilliant skill and is tremendous on dribbling but it’s a small part of the game. How long do you hold the ball, one minute 30, two minutes? Then what are you doing for 88 minutes? If you are not doing well especially in the situation where we are, it’s quite a problem. We need hard workers."
"I don’t mean Adama is not a hardworker but he is young and inconsistent and he needs to work. When you look at him coming in against Arsenal the first action he did was brilliant but then I am looking overall. I have to keep the balance of the team. Adama needs to work like every player," he added.
Should Traore be starting for Aston Villa?