Chaka Traorè: A raw diamond waiting to be cut by Milan after fleeing from Africa

By FPL360
Chaka Traorè: A raw diamond waiting to be cut by Milan after fleeing from Africa


Talents Calendar 

An excellent first touch, a quick La Croqueta trick, the body placed between the ball and the opponent followed, a turn and a precise finish. Moments like the one in the game between Parma’s U15 and Ritorno 2019 are the ones that secured Chaka Traorè a short path from the fields in the Emilia Romagna to the Serie A. Traorè has overcome all odds to secure a place in professional football. 

All the odds were against Traorè when he decided to flee Africa for Europe. In 2015 he took a small boat from Africa’s north coast with the aim to reach Italy. Once in Italy, Traorè and his agent, who was later found guilty of assisting illegal immigration, were headed to Parma. Traorè was traveling under a false name and was listed as Cissè in his passport. In Italy, the then 11-year-old took on various part-time jobs to survive before he finally was discovered by U.S. Audace—a prominent academy club in the provincial capital. 

Talents Calendar 2020: Here is how the players have developed

Juan Cabrera | Germany | Market value: –

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Schalke’s Juan Cabrera was listed as Uruguayan in last year’s Talents Calendar. Since then he has opted for Germany.

Pipi Nakai | Japan | Market value: –

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Pipi Nakai has made the next step at Real Madrid and is now part of the reserve team. But he is still awaiting his debut in Spain’s third division.

Bradley Fink | Switzerland | Market value: –

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Youssoufa Moukoko’s footsteps were not too big: Bradley Fink has been scoring consistently for Dortmund’s U19 side.

Alejandro Iturbe | Spain | Market value: –

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Alejandro Iturbe is slowly being integrated into Atlético Madrid’s first team and has already made the bench once.

Ramen Cepele | Albania | Market value: –

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Ramen Cepele has struggled with some smaller injuries but nonetheless has already featured for Hannover 96 II in the Regionalliga.

Turan Calhanoglu | Germany | Market value: –

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2021 has been a year to forget for Turan Calhanoglu. Hakan Calhanoglu’s cousin struggled with injuries all seasons long.

Kelvin John | Tanzania | Market value: €100,000

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“As soon as I turn 18, I will move to a big club“, said Kelvin John last year. Promise kept, the forward joined KRC Genk ahead of the season.

Bikash Yumnam | India | Market value: €100,000

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Bikash Yumnam continues his dream of moving to Europe. But it has been baby steps for the RoundGlass Punjab FC defender.

Simon Ngapandouetnbu | France | Market value: €150,000

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Born in Cameroon Simon Ngapandouetnbu has opted for France and is still awaiting his debut for Olympique Marseille’s senior team.

Seong-jin Kang | South Korea | Market value: €225,000

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Seong-jin Kang has not just become a regular starter for FC Seoul but an important first team player.

Kluiverth Aguilar | Peru | Market value: €300,000

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That Kluiverth Aguilar would move to Europe was already certain last year. Signed by Manchester City, the right-back is currently under contract at Lommel SK, which also is part of the City Group.

Xavi Simons | Netherlands | Market value: €500,000

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For Xavi Simons the last season was a mixed back. First close to the first team, the talented attacking midfielder has been ignored by Mauricio Pochettino and is currently considering a transfer to another club.

Tommaso Baldanzi | Italy | Market value: €600,000

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Tommaso Baldanzi led FC Empoli’s U19 to the championship in the Primavera and is now part of the first team.

Marcelo Flores | Mexico | Market value: €600,000

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Mexiko, Canada or England: For now Marcelo Flores the talented midfielder has opted for Mexico’s U20 but it is expected that Flores will await a final decision as Canada remains in the mix to secure the services of the 18-year-old.

Ömer Beyaz | Turkey | Market value: €1 million

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In Ömer Beyaz another talented player found the way to the Bundesliga. The 18-year-old Turkish talent has joined VfB Stuttgart.

Patryck | Brazil | Market value: €1 million

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U17 world championPatryck is part of FC São Paulo’s first team but for now still without a game.

Louie Barry | England | Market value: €1 million

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Former Barça talent Louie Barry has made his debut for Aston Villa but is currently on loan at Ipswich Town.

Loizos Loizou | Cyprus | Market value: €1.5 million

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Loizos Loizou has already won his first title with Omonia Nicosia but a transfer to a bigger league has yet to materialize.

Hannibal Mejbri | Tunisia | Market value: €3m

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Hannibal Mejbri is the third player in the calendar to switch national teams. Previously with France, the Man United talent has since made the switch to Tunisia.

Luca Oyen | Belgium | Market value: €3m

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Luca Oyen continues to collect playing time with the first team but has struggled to show the sort of consistency he displayed last season.

Caden Clark | USA | Market value: €3.5 million

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Not surprising Caden Clark will join RB Leipzig this winter. This year the 18-year-old played his first full season with New York Red Bulls with whom he was eliminated in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson | Iceland | Market value: €4.5 million

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Ísak Bergmann Jóhannesson has made the next step in his career and has joined FC Copenhagen.

Arsen Zakharyan | Russia | Market value: €9 million


Arsen Zakharyan has developed into a top talent under head coach Sandro Schwarz at Dinamo Moscow and is one of the most important players at the club.

Yusuf Demir | Austria | Market value: €12 million

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Yusuf Demir has fulfilled his wish and joined FC Barcelona where he has already made his debut for the first team.

“He arrived here as an 11-year-old, together with an older man, who we thought was his brother,” Luigi Mavilla, Traorè’s first coach and president of the football school that is considered one of the best in the country said to Transfermarkt. He stayed with his age group for half a year; then, we sent him to the older group because of his talent. He always played on the left-wing.”  

Talents Calendar December 4: Chaka Traorè

Like it is often the case with talented African players, there were discussions about Traorè’s age. Later a court even suspended the player to clear up his situation as a non-EU player. But neither stopped Traorè’s enthusiasm for the game. “He was on the training pitch every day, even on his own,” Mavilla said. “He has a passion for football. Once, he started juggling the ball and attracted the attention of spectators. Kids and staff stood around him. The ball never dropped to the ground. He was almost like one of those street artists who capture large crowds of pedestrians. An artist.”

Chaka Traorè: First player born in 2004 to play in Serie A

Scouts from Parma, to be precise Andrea Monica, then spotted Traorè at the 2017 regional amateur championships. Monica then recommended the player to Fausto Pizzi, the head of the club’s youth academy. Just one training session at the Ducali was enough to convince the club to sign him for their U17. 

The rapid rise continued. After a few games with the U19, Traorè made his debut in the Serie A—the first player born in 2004. The club lost 1-3 to AC Milan, the same team he would join just a few months later. The Rossoneri want to give the attacking player the necessary time to get used to their system. Nobody doubts that Traorè is talented, but he needs to improve his tactical game. 

Gavi, Moukoko & Co.: The most valuable players born in 2004

11 Shola Shoretire – Manchester United – Market value: €3m

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As of November 29, 2021

11 Vinicius Tobias – Internacional – Market value: €3m


7 Andreas Schjelderup – FC Nordsjaelland – Market value: €5m

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7 Matheus Nascimento – Botafogo – Market value: €5m

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7 Giovani – Palmeiras – Market value: €5m

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7 Sávio – Atlético Mineiro – Market value: €5m

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6 Julio Enciso – Club Libertad – Market value: €5.5m

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5 Kaiky – Santos – Market value: €6m

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4 Ângelo Gabriel – Santos – Market value: €7m

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3 Mohamed-Ali Cho – Angers – Market value: €10m

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2 Youssoufa Moukoko – BVB – Market value: €18m

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1 Gavi – Barcelona – Market value: €25m

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Traorè is a typical winger who benefits from his creativity, which ideally is supposed to improve his team. But at times, he still loses the ball in dangerous situations, and at times his decision-making still needs work in certain situations. At Milan, they are still describing the player as a raw diamond yet to be cut. But once cut, Traorè should have a fabulous career. 

From December 1 to 24, we introduce new players from different countries born in 2003. Area managers, users, and data scouts come into play as experts throughout the series. You can follow all those players by adding them to your TM watchlist.




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