Group Stage Fan Preview: AS Monaco
Here we go again, Champion’s League season 2017/18.
Monaco are the 2016/17 French Champions, and they hold the French record for the longest winning streak (not calculated on one season.)
Mbappe was sold for an estimated amount of 125 Millions of euro plus bonuses. That could go to an unbelievable 180 Millions of euro.
Germain was sold to the Southern neighbours, l’Olympique de Marseille, the little genius Bernardo Silva joined Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, quickly followed by his mate Benjamin Mendy.
Monaco is just a selling machine so? With an estimated of 300 Millions of euro done during this transfer window, they just demolished the other record of 220 Millions of euro, record established by… Monaco themselves.
But what is the matter with that selling spree? Why did they do it ?
In short, to survive at the top level.
Monaco does not have a juicy part of TV rights like the English clubs receive, Monaco does not sell 40,000 tickets every two weeks, nor do they sell 100,000 products for every new signing.
So by selling their gems, they can bank-in some cash, to keep their new gems even longer, and to recruit the young stars of tomorrow. And so on.
What about the results then? Is it just a big and juicy company ?
As I said earlier, they are French Champions in title, defeating the well oiled (if you allow me) Parisian beast. They did well in Champions League by beating Manchester City, Tottenham and Dortmund before being sent home by the Juventus of Turin. In semi-final.
New great signings, like Tielemans, the wonder boy of RSC Anderlecht, Baldé Keita, the Lazio phenomenon or Jovetic, the Montenegro National team captain. And the future is already set, as Mboula joined the Monaco professionals, leaving the Massia for… 3 Millions of euro.
Other interesting signings, as Ghezzal and Rony Lopes (actually getting back from a loan at Lille) joined their peers at La Turbie.
Falcao is on fire. And that is to note. Thanks to his work ethics, he is now the serial killer in front of the beautiful rectangle that he once was in Spain.
Lemar and Fabinho staid, signs that the Monaco project is still well and alive. Moutinho has been in the team since their comeback to Ligue 1, and he found back a spot in the beginning 11.
What to expect this season so? Back-to-back champions? Finalists of Champion’s League?
Probably not. But who knows?
Who knew last year after a defeat 4-O at our local rivals, Nice, that we would get the Hexagoal at the end of the season? Not me, definitely.
And as I am writing down those lines, our team is being crushed at Nice… 4-0.
By: Loris Caruso
Photo: Valery Hache/AFP