The rise of Monegasque and French midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni | France
When Bordeaux sold Aurélien Tchouaméni to Monaco for £ 16million last January, they may have thought they had done well to order such a royalty for a 20-year-old academy product that hadn’t started. only 13 league matches for the club. They won’t see it that way now. Tchouaméni has blossomed over the past 18 months, becoming a star for Monaco and winning his first trophy for France.
In his youth, Tchouaméni was used as a playmaker or a striker, but he has become such an influential figure from the depths of Monaco that, despite his young years, he is currently the club’s vice-captain. Niko Kovac’s decision to use him in midfield had a positive impact for Monaco, who finished third in Ligue 1 last season. Tchouaméni was their outstanding player, winning the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award and being part of the Ligue 1 squad of the season.
His reputation is skyrocketing. Having already represented his country at all levels from Under-16 to Under-21, Tchouaméni made his senior France debut against Bosnia-Herzegovina in September before winning his first start against Ukraine three days later, fitting in perfectly alongside Paul Pogba and Adrien Rabiot. “I felt comfortable against Ukraine, thanks to my teammates and the coach,” said the 21-year-old after the 1-1 draw. It was a disappointing result for France, but he was one of the few players to walk away with any credit. Tchouaméni received a seven out of 10 in the notoriously stingy The team ratings, better than any of his teammates.
He also impressed his manager. “I chose him because I thought he had the potential to be there,” Didier Deschamps said after the match. “He confirmed that was the case when he debuted and then when he started for the first time. There are quite a few new players. They should take Aurélien as an example and play like he did.
Having finished so well last season, having lost just two of their last 23 league games, Monaco has been slow to start this season, losing three of their first five Ligue 1 games. Things have improved recently. for Niko Kovac’s team and their 3-0. victory over former Tchouaméni team in Bordeaux before the international break was their third consecutive victory. Tchouaméni impressed throughout, with Deschamps not the only coach watching the midfield.
Chelsea and Manchester United are apparently interested in the 21-year-old, who put on a solid performance for France by beating Spain in the Nations League final on Sunday night. A first medal will not have slowed down expectations. But why would Chelsea and United keep an eye on Tchouaméni? Because he combines the best aspects of their own French midfielders, N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba. Tchouaméni is a ruthless ball winner who is also able to soar deep to punch a hole in an opposing defense.
He has made a total of 232 tackles and interceptions in Ligue 1 since the start of last season. Only two league players have done more. His 66% dribbling success rate is the 17th best of 111 players who attempted 50 or more dribbles in the same time frame. It also makes good use of its 6-foot-2 frame. His 68% aerial success rate is the ninth-best of 113 players who have played at least 75 heads since the start of last season. Obviously, he is the master of all trades.
Tchouaméni is not easily cataloged in a specific role. He’s comfortable in a two or three midfield, and he can play as a starting midfielder or a box-to-box player. This versatility gives Kovac and Deschamps greater tactical flexibility, depending on the opposition or the course of the match. For example, Tchouaméni made his debut in France as the deepest midfielder in a 4-3-3 against Ukraine, but again put in a strong performance alongside Pogba in a 3-4-1- 2 against Spain on Sunday.
“He has the potential to become a complete midfielder,” said Monaco teammate Cesc Fàbregas earlier this year. Coming from a midfielder who has won almost everything in the game, that’s praise. There are aspects of his game that could be improved. He is neither a prolific provider of goals nor assists, having only scored three goals and scored five league goals in his career. However, he has a set attitude that will help him develop. “I’m still young and I still have a lot to learn,” he said earlier this month. Fans – in France and England – are hopeful that he will take the next step on this journey at their club.