Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood is hopeful Adama Traore will be ready for his second Premier League appearance of the season against West Brom this weekend.
Traore has shown glimpses of promise during his brief cameos since arriving at Villa from Barcelona, but an ankle injury has meant he has not featured since late August.
Despite his lack of action Sherwood has already branded his young forward as a “marked man”, the 19-year-old hobbling off after 60 minutes on his first start in the League Cup win over Notts County.
Sherwood has been unable to use Traore since that 5-3 triumph, but hopes the youngster could be involved against West Brom on Saturday as Villa look to bounce back from their capitulation against Leicester City.
“Adama hasn’t trained,” he told the club’s official website. “He’s not been out there.
“Hopefully we can build him up as quickly as possible and get him on the field and taking part.”
Traore is not the only player Sherwood is waiting on the fitness of, with Carles Gil and Jose Angel Crespo also in contention.
“Jose is getting closer,” Sherwood added. “He is certainly going in the right direction.
“Carles hasn’t trained yet, he’s just a little bit sore. We will just have to assess him and hopefully he makes it.”