Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughLacina Traore - the next Didier Drogba? (video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Lacina Traore - the next Didier Drogba? (video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Lacina Traore – the next Didier Drogba? (video)

At 6 feet 8 inches, Lacina Traore may already be a big thing in African football. However, at the age of just 22-years-old, Traore’s impressive performances in Russia have led to inevitable comparisons with fellow countryman Didier Drogba and claims that he could become Africa’s next big superstar.

Lacina Traore began his career in his home country of Ivory Coast before moving to Romania in 2008 with CFR Cluj. Traore scored 14 goals for Cluj including 2 in the Champions League which helped him catch the eye of Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar. 18 goals in first season in Russia led him to become the League’s third top scorer which aided Traore in securing a reported 18 million Euro move to the infamously rich Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer of 2012.

With Anzhi, Traore has teamed up with another African superstar to great effect this season. Both Traore and Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o have led the line for Anzhi on a regular basis this season. Anzhi currently sit second in the Russian Premier League, 7 points behind leaders CSKA Moscow and have amassed a total of 35 goals after 21 games. 10 of the 35 goals have been scored by Traore – the League’s current second top scorer and 7 scored by team-mate Eto’o.

Eto’o scored a further 9 in the Europa League and Traore a further 5 as they have combined to share the goalscoring load across different competitions. Anzhi were narrowly eliminated from the Europa League by Papiss Demba Cisse’s late winner for Newcastle last week and the Russian side can consider themselves proud to have reached the last 16 of the competition having beaten both Udinese and Liverpool in the group stages. Given the investment ploughed into the club, Anzhi will be hoping to make the Champions League next season.

Anzhi will also be hoping that they can hold onto the young Traore, who allegedly has a signed a contract with the Russian club until 2016. There has been reported interest from within both Italy and the English Premier League for his services as the striker has steadily built a reputation for having all the qualities of Didier Drogba – strength, power and a clinical finish – as well as having quick feet and a very good touch for a player of such physical stature.

Whilst still at the development stage of his career, Traore will surely seek inspiration from compatriot Didier Drogba, as he tries to emulate what his fellow countryman has achieved on both the international and European stages.