Benie Traore faces wait for Sheffield United debut after transfer confirmed

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Sheffield United fans will have to wait for their first glimpse of Benie Traore in a red and white shirt, with the Ivorian forward not expected to take part in tonight’s pre-season friendly against Estoril in Portugal.

The striker was officially unveiled as a Blade last night after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Swedish champions Hacken, with Traore signing a four-year deal at Bramall Lane. United take on Estoril in their second pre-season game this evening, but Traore is scheduled to return to Sweden today to prepare for his dream move to the English Premier League.

There are no concerns over Traore in terms of fitness, with the striker already having played 16 games for Hacken already in a campaign that overlaps with United’s pre-season schedule. A haul of 14 goals in that period attracted interest from United, as well as Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers, before a deal was struck with Hacken to bring him to Bramall Lane.

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It means Unitedites will get their first sighting of Traore in Blades colours next Tuesday night, when United travel to Rotherham United to continue their pre-season preparations on home soil.

Paul Heckingbottom, the United boss, said that the Blades “see Bénie as someone who has the qualities and the ability to play at the top level.”

“Bénie is an exciting young player who works really hard,” Heckingbottom added, “and uses his pace to press out of possession as well as using it as a threat by playing on the last man.”

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The Star’s coverage of Sheffield United’s pre-season trip to Portugal is in association with Vertical Editions, a Sheffield-based company producing fine sporting books. Check out their range of Blades titles, including the new book Legends at the Lane, at

For his part, Traore is looking forward to playing in the Premier League - and lining up with Iliman Ndiaye, after namechecking the Senegal star in his first interview after signing with United’s in-house SUTV Live channel.

“I think it’s going to be great [playing with Ndiaye],” Traore said. “I know the stadium and the fans, and I have been watching some of the games from last season, Iliman Ndiaye and everything. It was great to watch.

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“I can’t wait to play in the Premier League, because I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League. It’s the best league, everyone is watching the Premier League. I am very happy to be here, to be a part of this team. I have been waiting for this time for a while.”

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