Regardless of PSG’s dominance within the league for a lot of the previous decade, Ligue 1 continues to supply among the finest younger gamers in European soccer. French groups constantly unearth precocious abilities via clever scouting and develop them fantastically in each their academies and first-teams.
AS Monaco are infamous for his or her track-record of enabling younger gamers to flourish, and 21-year-old midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is the crown jewel of their present crop of abilities.
Beneath former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac, Monaco play in a possession-based, high-pressing 3-4-3 or 4-4-2. Tchouameni performs because the anchoring participant within the midfield double pivot, often alongside the energetic Youssouf Fofana. His 12 appearances in Ligue 1 after simply 13 match days replicate how central he’s to Kovac’s system and tactical method.
Tchouameni is extraordinarily well-rounded technically, permitting him to contribute to Monaco’s ball development in quite a lot of methods. As they construct from the again, Kovac instructs the centre-backs to search for quick, central passing choices when attainable, moderately than attempting to play via the flanks.
Tchouameni is continuously in a position to escape opposition cowl shadow and pose as a passing possibility. Whereas a part of that is due to his consciousness of the vacant area on the pitch, he’s additionally comfy at receiving the ball below strain and at quite a lot of angles. His physique positioning when acquiring possession permits him to defend the ball from challenges effectively, along with his bodily power and 6’1″ body additionally serving to on this respect.
As soon as he’s managed the ball, Tchouameni is a proactive passer who will try riskier passes that progress play forwards versus safer lateral or backwards passes. This results in him turning over possession considerably continuously, particularly as a result of he can dwell on the ball and invite pointless strain upon himself.
Nonetheless, his passing high quality and talent to play quick and medium-range penetrative passes imply that this tradeoff is value taking. He might not retain possession in addition to different defensive midfielders, however Tchouameni is extraordinarily progressive and permits his crew to maneuver via the thirds reliably.
The Frenchman can also be an above-average ball-carrier. He solely makes an attempt 1.15 dribbles per 90, however completes them at an 83% success charge. Tchouameni’s acceleration and bodily power imply he’s arduous to cease when he drives ahead with the ball, however due to his want to remain near the again 4 to guard them defensively, he tends to not utilise this facet of his play continuously. Nonetheless, it may be a helpful avenue for Monaco to progress the ball ahead when wanted.
Defensively, Tchouameni stands out as an elite ball-winner. For metrics similar to pressures, tackles, interceptions, and aerial duels received, he ranks among the many finest performing midfielders in Europe’s prime 5 leagues. Monaco press excessive and aggressively in a 4-2-4 form, that means Tchouameni must cowl giant swaths of area behind the primary line of the press.
Aurélien Tchouaméni has made extra tackles + interceptions  than every other participant within the #UEL this season.
Such an thrilling expertise. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/4cV22PPdDG
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 4, 2021
His understanding of when to push up and assist the press from behind and when to drop again to cowl the area in entrance of the again 4 is one among his much less seen defensive traits, however it’s very important to his means to carry out his defensive function.
Tchouameni’s athleticism can also be essential to his defensive fashion. His lengthy legs give him prolonged strides and enhanced protection along with his tackles, making him troublesome to evade in one-on-one eventualities. His mixture of agility over quick distances, tempo over lengthy distances, and bodily power make him a dominant defensive presence.
💪 Just one participant accomplished extra tackles than Aurelien Tchouameni in Europe’s prime 5 leagues final season (127)
😯 He’s 21 and it was his breakthrough yr… pic.twitter.com/vOOxYxOKQ1
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 19, 2021
Given his duel menace each with and with out the ball, it’s no shock that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United have expressed important curiosity in Tchouameni’s signature.
Becoming a member of Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea could be a smart resolution for the Frenchman on a number of ranges. Past the truth that he could be working with one among Europe’s finest coaches, Chelsea’s ways are related sufficient to Monaco to ease his transition into English soccer. He may carry better top and physicality to Chelsea’s midfield with out comprising their technical proficiency.
Shifting to Manchester United would guarantee Tchouameni extra recreation time given their lack of defensive midfielders. Nemanja Matic is the one different specialist holding midfielder, whereas Fred and Scott McTominay are higher in box-to-box roles with a much less defensively inflexible function. Given the precarity of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s function and their lack of a transparent construction in possession, it might be a much less enticing possibility for the 21-year-old.
Wherever he finally ends up, Aurelien Tchouameni is among the many finest younger defensive midfielders in Europe at current, the prototypical trendy quantity six who influences his crew each out and in of possession.
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