Belfast Telegraph

Tim Sherwood: Aston Villa new boy Adama Traore is already a marked man

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood thinks Adama Traore is already a "marked man" and should continue to expect rough treatment after suffering an ankle injury against Notts County.

Last week Sherwood tried to temper the hype surrounding the £7.1million signing from Barcelona but the following day Traore displayed his potential with a cameo appearance from the bench in Villa's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Crystal Palace, with his pace and power leading to the equalising goal for Sherwood's side.

On Tuesday night, the talented teenager shone on his full home debut, albeit against League Two club Notts County, in the Capital One Cup, marking his first start with a goal as Villa progressed to round three 5-3 winners after extra-time.

However, Traore hobbled off after an hour - a result of one too many heavy challenges throughout the evening - and is a doubt for the visit of Sunderland on Saturday.

Sherwood believes the 19-year-old's trickery means defenders have little choice but to resort to foul means to counter him.

"The negative is that Adama got injured. The only way you are going to stop him at the minute is to kick him. He's a marked man and he will have to get used to it," said Sherwood.

"You don't want to play against him. He's a real talent but he needs to mix his game up so he doesn't give people the opportunity to kick him.

"He's a marked man out there because the only way to stop him is to put him down and he needs to be protected. But he's a strong robust guy with a big heart and he wants to carry on, so he's going to be an excellent signing for this football club."

On Traore's injury, Sherwood added: " It's too soon to tell how serious but he's packed in ice and hobbling around.

"But it doesn't look good to be honest. He took a heavy knock - I thought it was a bad tackle. It was his ankle."

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