Chelsea have had a fairy tale season so far. Sitting comfortably at the top of the table, ten points clear, they have cemented themselves there. They are also the favourites to win the FA Cup as well, thereby sealing their domestic double. Another such club in Europe right now is AS Monaco. Beating all the odds stacked against them, the French side have risen through the ranks to lead the Ligue 1 table. Up against the likes of PSG and OL, they have pulled off one of the most entertaining pieces of football in recent times.
Monaco’s dominance: Credit to the youngsters?
There is something very unique about the rise of the side bubbling with emerging talent. It has brought into focus something that seemed to fade away in recent seasons across Europe – The importance of youth.
Following PSG’s model of recruitment, Monaco had spent a lot on their squad in the previous seasons. It bore no results for the side so they fundamentally revamped the system. One of their most significant decisions was to promote players from their own academy who had the hunger to win it for the team. The outcome was phenomenal as the team now sits at the top of the French League. The primary credit goes to the youngsters who rose to the occasion and took the league by a storm. They have the highest goals for a team in the entire continent. They are presently in the quarters of the Champions League and are likely to challenge as the dark horses.
Bakayoko: The midfield general of Monaco
One of the most significant youngsters to have played a role in the rise of Monaco is Bakayoko. At 22, he is considered a part of France’s golden generation of midfielders joining the likes of Payet, Pogba, Matuidi and Kante. The player has had multiple ups and downs in his career, but he has now found his perfect role. When his career was going downhill, it was ex- Chelsea midfielder Makelele who coached him and gave him advice. Makelele is one of the best holding midfielders in the modern game. Bokoyaka has taken up the role of the general of Monaco’s midfield and orchestrates the entire flow of play.
He is often compared to Yaya Toure as he has a similar gameplay style. Physically imposing and technically sound, he is one of those players who can protect the defence single-handedly. Sitting at the heart of midfield, he controls the entire game. His interceptions are too good, so are his standing tackles.
How does he fit at Chelsea?
Well, Chelsea do not have a lot of midfield options should they face an injury crisis. They do have the likes of Chalobah to step in the times of need, but they miss another Kante like midfield enforcer. The fact that Bakayoko is French will also be beneficial to the English outfit. He also brings with him the ability to apply brute force in games where required, which is a highly desirable trait in the English Premier League. That being said, it looks like Chelsea will have to shell out a good amount of money to avail the services of the Frenchman.