The French Ligue 1 has always generated the greatest interest in terms of young talent. AS Monaco showed the way for their domestic teams last season as they gathered a young squad which ended Paris Saint-Germain’s four-year dominance in the league. With the new league season due to start in a week’s time, Calcio Insider looks into two youngsters, who could have a game-changing campaign.
Kylian Mbappe – AS Monaco: Much has been written about Real Madrid’s interest in the Monaco forward, but the Principality outfit are more or less expecting him to stay. Mbappe’s valuation has crept to new heights during the course of the transfer window with a potential world-record required in order to lure him from Monaco. Mbappe was a relatively unknown just 12 months ago with manager Leonardo Jardim offering him cameo roles from the bench. However, the 2016/17 campaign happened to be his breakout spell as he capitalised on a short-term injury to Radamel Falcao in order to make himself a regular in the second half of the season. With Falcao back in the lineup, Valere Germain was the player to be sacrificed with Mbappe helping Monaco to their league success since 2000. The 18-year-old ended the season with 26 goals in all competitions but most of his efforts were in the backend of the campaign. Mbappe could enjoy his first full season as a regular at Monaco, and he could only improve on what he has achieved at such a young age.
Youri Tielemans – AS Monaco: Monaco’s summer recruit Youri Tielemans is relatively experienced at the tender age of 20 after having managed 185 appearances during his time at Anderlecht. A central midfielder by trade, the Belgian found his best form last season where he scored 18 goals and assisted a further 15 for the Jupiler League champions. With Tiemoue Bakayoko gone to Chelsea, the emphasis will be on Tielemans to provide the driving force from the centre of the park, which he did with much success last term. Manchester United and Everton were among the top suitors for the Belgium international, but Tielemans thought that it would be best to ply his trade with the Principality club, who have placed importance on developing young talents into potential world-beaters. Tielemans has four caps with the Belgian national team to date, but he will hope to replicate a similar showing in order to break into the lineup ahead of next year’s World Cup.
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