Cardiff City new boy Tavio Kouakou d’Almeida could have a big future
However, the 18-year-old’s mysterious appearance on the bench in the Bluebirds’ 3-0 defeat at the hands of Luton Town in the EFL Cup fuelled plenty of gossips and speculations among sections of the fans and media and it was then that the signing really came to light. (h/t Wales Online)
The talented teenager, who rose through the youth ranks of French Ligue 2 side Auxerre, was released by his boyhood club earlier in the summer without being offered a professional deal and he was without a club when a trial in South Wales offered him an escape route.
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock assessed the youngster on the training ground a number of times before d’Almeida was eventually offered a professional deal by the Bluebirds, with the 18-year-old putting pen to paper on a three-year deal.
Tavio Kouakou d’Almeida, who is originally from Ivory Coast, didn’t enter the field of play in the EFL Cup fixture, which ended in defeat for Warnock’s side.
Cardiff, apparently, have brought him in on a free transfer as a project player for the future, although he might get a few opportunities to impress in the senior team should injuries play a part later on in the campaign.
The Frenchman, who is essentially a right-back by trade, is also capable of playing further up the pitch as a wide player and in a more central role in the midfield.
However, given that the 18-year-old is yet to get a taste of senior football in his fledgeling career thus far, one would expect him to take his time to acclimatise to the new surroundings.
For the time being, though, d’Almeida is likely to continue his development in the club’s U23 ranks and it will be very much up to him to work his way up the ladder in South Wales.
The teenager looks like a real talent but he still needs a fair bit of polishing to play regularly at the senior level and have an impact in a league as competitive as the EFL Championship.
Lee Peltier has emerged as Warnock’s undisputed first-choice at right-back in the opening few games of the Championship this season, although youngster Cameron Coxe featured on the right-hand side of the backline for the Bluebirds in the EFL Cup defeat in midweek.
Furthermore, the likes of Leandro Bacuna and Callum Paterson are also capable of filling in as makeshift right-backs, meaning that the 18-year-old new signing currently finds himself some way down the pecking order at Cardiff City.
That, however, should not deter the teenager’s willingness to make a breakthrough in the senior ranks and if he continues to put in the hard yards at the reserve level, a shot in the first-team in the foreseeable future is definitely not beyond the realms of possibility for d’Almeida.
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With that in mind, Cardiff have every reason to be optimistic that this move could possibly pay rich dividends in the years to come.