One of the significant stories of the winter transfer window has been the transfer of Shakhtar Donetsk star winger Mykhaylo Mudryk. English league leaders Arsenal have been chasing Mudryk for the better part of the previous two transfer windows. However, among all this news about Mudryk, another player at Shakhtar is bound to move to the big club. Centre-forward Lassina Traore is among the top African strikers to come out in recent times.
Hailing from Burkina Faso, Lassina Traore is a talented striker who made waves in the Eredivisie before switching to the Ukrainian league. If Mudryk leaves, then Traore will become even more instrumental for Shakhtar. And if he manages to keep up his performances, then next time, the big club will be coming from him.
Shakhtar have always been brilliant at signing talented players at low fees and then selling them for an exorbitant amount. Lassina Traore falls precisely in that category and is one top watch-out for.
So, who is Lassina Traore, and how good is he?
How good is Lassina Traore?
Lassina Traore was born in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, on January 12, 2001. Born in a family where several of his family members were already involved in sports, Traore was provided with an environment that encouraged playing sports at a young age. His mother was a professional footballer and captain of the Burkina Faso women’s national football team. His cousin Bertrand Traore plays for İstanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish Super League, on loan from Premier League club Aston Villa.
Traore started playing football at the school level till 11 when he joined the youth academy of Rahimo, a club which competes in the Burkinabe Premier League. There he would play through several age groups teams at the club.
At 16, he was scouted by Ajax. However, since he was under 18, he could not be transferred to the Netherlands. As a result, the player was sent to Ajax Cape Town, their satellite club. Traore would finish as the top scorer for the reserve team.
As soon as he turned 18, he signed his first official contract and joined Ajax in 2019. He played for the reserves, scored eight goals, and provided three assists in 14 matches.