Aston Villa latest news: "One to watch" claim made over £17m Dean Smith outcast

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith

There is uncertainty over what the future holds for Bertrand Traore after the Aston Villa man's game-time has been restricted, according to BirminghamLive journalist Ashley Preece.

Traore was among Villa's star signings as he made the £17million switch from French side Lyon last year.

What's the latest news involving Traore?

Following his move to Villa Park, Traore went on to enjoy a stellar first season with his new employers as he failed to feature in just two Premier League encounters.

The 26-year-old also showed he could produce the goods in the final third by finding the back of the net eight goals in all competitions and providing a further seven assists.

Despite his fine form, he has become less of a key man for head coach Dean Smith and is yet to make his first Premier League start of the campaign.

He has been made to settle for just 53 minutes of top flight action since the season got underway two months ago, with his only inclusion in the starting line-up coming in the Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea.

It was at Chelsea where he got his first taste of English football as he made 16 appearances for the Stamford Bridge-based outfit.

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What has Ashley Preece said about Traore?

Preece believes Traore will have become frustrated after not being given the opportunity to build on an impressive first season at Villa.

However, he insists the Burkina Faso international, who has won 55 caps for his country, could become the perfect impact substitute for Smith.

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Preece told GIVEMESPORT: "It's an interesting one to watch because he was a big signing last summer, coming in for £17million from Lyon.

"He did really well in his first season, getting goals and assists. Coming into this season, Villa fans thought highly of him.

"He hasn't seen as much game-time as he'd have liked at present but if he made an impact off the bench, I don't think too many would grumble."

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Who has leapfrogged Traore in the pecking order?

Villa were the Premier League's fifth biggest spenders after parting with £93million in the summer transfer window. A large chunk of that cash was spent on attacking-minded players.

Traore has featured predominantly in a wide role since joining Villa, but Smith dipped into the market to sign Leon Bailey in a £25million deal from Bayer Leverkusen.

Emiliano Buendia also arrived at Villa Park after a club-record fee was agreed with Norwich City.

Traore has played more than 70 times as a centre forward over the course of his career, but the chances of him moving into that role diminished significantly when Danny Ings switched from Southampton for £25million.

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