The 19-year-old winger came off the bench for the final 32 minutes of Monday afternoon's 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road.
While Adama Traore’s encouraging substitute appearance was one of the few bright spots for Aston Villa in Monday afternoon’s dismal 2-0 defeat at Norwich City, manager Remi Garde gave the teenage winger’s performance a mixed review.
Garde was speaking to AVTV after the match at Carrow Road, having seen Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani strike either side of half-time to condemn his side to an 18th straight Premier League game without a win.
Howson’s 24th-minute opener separated the two sides for over an hour before Mbokani iced the result three minutes from time with a headed finish, as Villa rarely looked like troubling their relegation rivals for much of the match.
Nevertheless, Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout did at least provide some moments of quality, while the visitors’ attack also got a noticeable boost following Adama’s second-half introduction.
The 19-year-old summer signing from Barcelona replaced the largely ineffective Scott Sinclair just before the hour mark and proceeded to showcase several glimpses of his promise over the rest of the game with some jinking runs and teasing crosses.
However, Garde has continued to stress in recent weeks that the Spanish-born Malian needs to improve his teamwork to earn more minutes, and having seen him attempt just four passes during his 32-minute run-out, he was not rushing to sing his praises at the final whistle.
“Adama is part of the team and I know everyone is maybe expecting more of him in terms of minutes,” Garde told AVTV. “He’s sometimes played well but sometimes he needs to improve.
“I try to put together the best team for the club to win the game. Adama did some things well but not everything well.
“But he’s part of the team and you could speak the same about all other players. We will see for the next game.”
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Adama joined Villa from Barcelona for a reported £7 million fee, having featured four times 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.
Having been considered one of European football’s top prospects, the promising wide man’s arrival was greeted with much fanfare but he has since been limited to just eight Premier League substitute appearances and one Capital One Cup start.
Former manager Tim Sherwood reiterated on several occasions that the former La Masia product was far from the finish article, and while most expected to see him take on a bigger role in the side following Garde’s appointment, it seems like the new boss it taking much the same approach to his development.
The youngster has provided plenty of glimpse of his skill and quality when actually given a rare run-out, but his lack of end product and questionable decision-making has so far prevented him from earning his first top-flight start under the Frenchman.
Nevertheless, fans have been crying out for him to be handed more playing time amid a club-record winless run in the league, and given the team's performance at Norwich, Garde might be wise to listen to them.
Now sitting 11 points from safety at the foot of the table, another defeat at 19th-placed Sunderland on Saturday would leave them facing a mountain to climb to avoid the drop, and with star man Ayew suspended for the trip after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Carrow Road, it would seem like the perfect match to unleash Adama from the start.
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