Who are the Monaco youngsters that dumped Manchester City out of Europe?
Monaco have always been known as one of France’s best youth academies, paving the way to French stars such as Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Petit, and Lilian Thuram.
Still today, the Principality outfit still remains adept at bringing through youth. Not all of Monaco’s new starlets are French though, but they show almost as much promise as those of years gone by, thanks to the work of former sporting director Luis Campos.
On Wednesday night at the Stade Louis II, these new rising stars were all on show as they beat Manchester City 3-1 and qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals.
Kylian Mbappe (18 years old)
The striker who has all of Europe at his feet, the 18-year-old has been in a rich vein of goalscoring form as of late. Having scored in both matches of the two-legged tie against Manchester City, it is now 11 goals in his last eight starts.
There’s no doubt the Ligue 1 leaders will have their work cut out for them to keep Europe’s biggest clubs from luring him away. Already dubbed the new Henry, it is praise that doesn’t seem such hyperbole when seeing him play. The former Arsenal legend was himself taken aback by the youngster’s skill and confidence.
“He seems serene and hungry to learn,” Henry told RMC on February 7. “The first time I saw him[against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League], as soon as he controlled the ball I knew he was a player.
“At just 16, he was calling for the ball, taking on the opposition, and wasn’t afraid to get hit. He’d just get back up and ask for the ball again. There’s something special about him.”
Henry was not the only one to spot out his talent, with France coach Didier Deschamps rewarding his good form with a first ever call-up on Thursday.