EXCLUSIVE: Gold Coast United star Adama Traore has hosed down speculation he’d like to play for Australia one day – but says the A-League is an ideal platform to launch an overseas career.
The pint-sized attacking defender put on a man of the match performance for United in their impressive 1-0 victory over Glory in Perth on Sunday.
The 20-year-old’s runs from deep and his positivity in attacking the space and creating chances were a feature of a strong United display.
It was another reminder of what the Ivorian-born full-back has brought to the A-League after coach Miron Bleiberg brought him to the glitter strip on a three year deal last season.
But press speculation of a switch at international level has been cooled by the attacking defender who’s represented Ivory Coast at youth level including five appearances for their U21s.
“I think in this moment, I don’t want to talk about that one,” he told au.fourfourtwo.com. “I think we have time and we’ll see. I don’t want to talk about that one.”
He is however happy to talk about new United signing Bruce Djite. The Socceroo striker had a week with Gold Coast to find his feet before heading west for the Glory clash.
The former Adelaide United and Genclerbirligi man slotted in well and was part of an impressive performance at nib Stadium on Sunday.
“I didn’t know much about Bruce before but he’s a very good – I saw the friendly game [for the Socceroos] against Slovenia and he helped the team,” said Traore.
Traore’s career trajectory was on the up until the Bondoukou-born star was injured in the M1 derby 13 months ago.
Scans revealed damage to the medial ligament in his knee which stemmed the momentum he’d been building after some very impressive early season form.
He did however make an impression capped by winning last season’s Star of the Future accolade.
But this time around with a solid pre-season, Traore is feeling like his old self again. And he credits the Australian competition for toughening him up.
And he says he’s happy to stay at Skilled Park and see out his contract before assessing his options - which is good news for local fans keen on seeing one of a small number of Africans in the A-League.
“To play in the A-League for the young people you can be strong and be ready for every league I think. It prepares you physically and mentally,” he said.
As for the rest of the competition, Traore tags Melbourne Victory as one of the teams to beat. The Victorians defeated United in their last home game and Traore says it was Costa Rican creator Carlos Hernandez who impressed him the most.
This weekend Traore will have the chance to assess another Latin star when Argentine Patricio Perez’s Central Coast Mariners visit the Gold Coast on Sunday at 5pm.
Traore added: “I’m good now. I hope this year no more injury and I try to help the team.”