At the end of a brilliant week, the Blues, still led and still returned, won under the sky of Milan the eighth trophy in their history by winning, this Sunday evening, the League of Nations at the expense of Spain (2- 1). If all was not perfect, the men of Didier Deschamps partly wash away the affront of the elimination against Switzerland in the round of 16 of the last Euro, enough to suggest some clearings for the next World Cup scheduled in Qatar. Supported by its technical leaders (Benzema, Mbappé, Pogba among others), the Tricolores were also able to rely on a succession at the height of the event. First, Aurélien Tchouaméni (21, AS Monaco). Called for the first time, last September, on the occasion of the gathering counting for the qualifications for the 2022 World Cup (Bosnia, Ukraine, Finland), the Monegasque midfielder, taking advantage of the absence of Corentin Tolisso and N’Golo Kanté in the ‘mid-game, confirmed during this double confrontation against the Red Devils and against La Roja that he could quickly become a safe bet in the France team.
Entered a quarter of an hour from the end of the semi-final, stunning, won by the Blues against Belgium (3-2), the one who started attacking in his young years spent on the banks of the Gironde is once again appeared very comfortable in the middle of the field (100% of duels won, 2 balls recovered), he who simply honored his fourth selection. Associated with Paul Pogba, the Monegasque took over from Adrien Rabiot experiencing certain difficulties in this meeting and could even have opened his counter in Blue if his strike with the right foot outside the penalty area had not not been hijacked by Thibaut Courtois. Once again aligned for the final against Spain (2-1), at the expense of Adrien Rabiot positive for Covid-19, the native of Rouen showed a puzzling maturity at only 21 years old (8 duels on 13 won, 6 balls recovered, 4 interceptions), confirming all the promises made in the one who is currently crossing the thresholds at high speed.
The new rock of the Blues?
Two successful outings occurring only a few weeks after a very convincing first stint in Blue during the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. Holder in the A for the first time, on September 4, against Ukraine after a remarkable half-time against Bosnia, Tchouaméni had distinguished himself in the most beautiful way (3 interceptions, 5 balls recovered, 96% of successful passes), provoking the praise of his coach at the end of the meeting: “If I took him it’s because I think he has all the potential to be there and through what he did in the first game and today that confirms what I thought. He is still a young player but he has the personality, the volume, the aggressiveness so all the better! There are quite a few new players. From the moment they are there, they have a role to play. Let them all do it, as Aurélien was able to do today. ”
Moreover, the main interested party seems to manage his rise in Blue with a much more notable serenity than that experienced by Eduardo Camavinga for example. Buried in praise after his thunderous debut in the jersey of the France team, the former Rennais transferred to Real Madrid this summer had indeed experienced some difficulties in assuming the spotlight on him. And if elements of explanation can be put forward concerning this capacity of the ex-Girondin to absorb, like a sponge, the pressure of these new responsibilities, the main argument undoubtedly resides in the personality of a player very well surrounded: “I just know I have more responsibilities now, but I try to stay the same. Being international is a different status, but at a young age I still have a lot to learn. I know we will be a little harder on me on certain things, but I do not take the lead too much. I don’t try to do more than what I know how to do », he said recently. Calm, maturity, lucidity, so many qualities confirmed by the player’s entourage despite this new status of international player.
A successful international adaptation
But beyond his performance on the field, Tchouaméni now also enjoys a good popularity rating in the locker room of the Blues, proof of successful beginnings both in sport and tactics and on the human level. Positioned alongside Paul Pogba, the Asemist gem has apparently already created a beautiful bond with the Mancunian star as evidenced by his recent statements: “He had the role of a big brother. He pushed me to let go, to play with confidence and to show my qualities. After that, there you have to be part of the continuity in this group. I was lucky to have teammates who helped me a lot, pushed me a lot to show what I knew how to do, so it allowed me to be comfortable on the pitch and it showed thanks to my performance. I was happy to be able to discover Paul Pogba, he is someone I have followed a lot throughout my young career so I was able to gain new information ”. A feeling shared by “la Pioche” confident that it was “A pleasure to play next to him”.
All the visionaries therefore seem to be green for this talent of 1m87 but confidence does not exclude prudence because after the time of adaptation, successful concerning him, comes the time of confirmation and as such, the Monegasque will have what that it happens hard to do when you know the competition present in this tricolor midfielder. As convincing as they are, his first performances in the tricolor jersey can only be counted on the fingers of one hand for the time being. 234 minutes spent in Blue which do not act, therefore, the future of Tchouaméni with the selection of Didier Deschamps. And for good reason, the returns of N’Golo Kanté, injured and absent during this League of Nations, or Corentin Tolisso, to a lesser extent, will plunge the Monegasque into this blue ocean of players available to the coach to animate the midfield . It remains to be seen how the player of the Rock, in these conditions, will lead his boat.
Tchouaméni, the little Prince of Monaco
To assert itself as an essential link in the tricolor system, this is now Tchouaméni’s main mission for the coming months and thus hope to experience a first World Cup among the A. his status already asserted within the club of the Principality, because at 21 years old, he is indeed a taulier in this Monegasque workforce. Proof of this is, since the enthronement of Niko Kovac on the ASM bench, Tchouaméni has only missed two matches in all competitions! Two absences linked to a suspension and a slight pain in the ankle … An impressive statistic, a direct consequence of the confidence granted by the Croatian coach: “At his post you have to be disciplined, able to organize the game. He is growing day by day and he’s a whole different player than a year ago. I trust him a lot. Since he’s been international, he’s been watched more. “
Alongside Youssouf Fofana or Jean Lucas or Eliot Matazo, Tchouaméni has logically been granted more responsibilities whether in the locker room or on the field, evidenced by his captain’s armband against SK Sturm Graz. The head on the shoulders, the little prince of Monaco does not see itself thereby disturbing and the praise given to him does not disturb him in any way. His last performance, just before the international break, against his training club Girondins de Bordeaux (3-0) speaks for himself … According to information provided by Opta, he is thus the player with the most shots on goal (6 shots) the one who collected the most balls in Monaco (7) who touched the most (83), who played the most duels (18 for 72 % won) while projecting (36 passes in the opposing camp, the highest total with 84% successful). A new masterclass that inevitably attracts the envy of many European teams …
Coveted by Liverpool or Chelsea during the last summer transfer window, the Rocher midfielder, under contract until June 2024, has logically seen his popularity increase inexorably in recent weeks but to take advantage of Tchouaméni’s talent, everyone is already warned, it will take out the checkbook. Estimated at 30 million euros on the site Transfermarkt, the Monegasque feels good in the Principality and there is no doubt that Niko Kovac and his staff would like to see him continue to evolve on the side of ASM. With this in mind, a departure from the Monegasque nugget could rather be negotiated around 50 million euros … Recently, it was Manchester United who seemed ready to do anything to attract him to the side of Old Trafford and thus associate the rising star of the Blues to a certain Paul Pogba.
– Tchouameni Aurélien (@atchouameni) October 11, 2021