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Chelsea sign teenage wonderkid Bertrand Traore on long-term deal

Jan 1, 2014, 7:34 AM EDT

Chelsea v Malaysia XI Getty Images

With a flurry of deals officially being sealed on January 1, today is of course the opening of the transfer window.

And perhaps the most high-profile move so far today has come from Chelsea, as Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore has signed on the dotted-line for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Traore, 18, agreed to the deal back in October but on Wednesday officially joined the Blues from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso in his native land. The young attacking winger, who joined Chelsea on their preseason tour of Asia and Indonesia on a trial basis during last summer, is a tricky attacker and he’s signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Delighted to commit his future to the West London club, youngster Traore revealed he plans to follow in the footsteps of some illustrious players from Chelsea past, present and future.

“My favorite players are Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil and Eden Hazard. They’re very good players and I am trying to be like them,” Traore said. “At Chelsea I look to follow the way of some African legends like Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and now Samuel Eto’o.”

With Chelsea revealing losses of $81.6 million for the 2013 fiscal year on New Year’s Eve, expect plenty more signings like this in the coming months and years, as the Blues try to balance the books and pick up exciting young talents on the cheap instead of splashing the cash for established stars.

Why are the changing tact? The new Financial Fair Play regulations being ushered in by UEFA has seen Chelsea and several of Europe’s other leading clubs try to cut their cloth accordingly. Let’s see how long they keep it up.

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