After a hugely disappointing defeat to the Premier League’s bottom side in midweek, there are big questions that Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will have to answer before his side take on Wolves on Saturday evening.
Villa were consigned to a damaging loss by Sheffield United thanks to a goal from David McGoldrick, and in truth they never looked like hurting the Blades – they managed just four shots on target in the entire match.
While Bertrand Traore was hardly the biggest culprit in Villa’s defeat, and did come up with a couple of promising moments including a weaving run, the Burkina Faso international has just looked short of form in recent weeks.
Should Traore be dropped for today?
From mid-December to mid-January, the summer signing from Lyon went on a run of four goals and one assist in just six Premier League games, but it has since been downhill from there.
The next eight games have resulted in just one goal and one assist, and with Trezeguet really pushing for a recall to the starting line-up after making his full return to fitness from injury, surely enough is enough when it comes to Traore.
The tricky right winger just hasn’t delivered the goods over the past couple of months in terms of end product, and there’s only so many flashes of brilliance that Smith can accept.
An eye-catching run here and there isn’t enough to keep your place in a side and, coming after a dismal defeat to Sheffield United, the time has surely come for Smith to make a ruthless call on his big-money signing from last summer and drop him from the team.
The £17.5m-rated man could potentially do with just being taken out of the firing line for now, especially with Villa’s form in recent weeks being topsy-turvy to say the least – while they may have beaten Arsenal in their past six games, they’ve only picked up two wins in that run and have lost three times.
Traore could well be the fall guy for today.