A Team 01 September 2021, 15:04

Aurélien Tchouameni: France call-up a just reward

Aurélien Tchouameni: France call-up a just reward
The true embodiment of AS Monaco's Rise Risk Repeat mantra, Aurélien Tchouaméni has had his colossal progress at the Club recognised with a place in France's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

A commanding, controlled presence in midfield and a key component in coach Niko Kovac’s exciting AS Monaco side, Aurélien Tchouameni has just had another week to remember in what has become a career marked by rapid progression.

A first senior call up to Les Bleus

Disappointed after missing out on a place in the UEFA Champions League following the Rouge et Blanc‘s two-legged play-off defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk last Wednesday, the 21-year-old’s mood was soon lifted following a call from France coach Didier Deschamps. A first senior call up to Les Bleus for their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Finland is just reward for Tchouameni’s play, recognizing his reputation as a top young talent.

I'm going to go there with the aim of showing my qualities and learning as much as possible from the France group, as advised by the coach
Aurélien Tchouameni

“The evening ended badly in Kharkiv (following the Shakhtar game), but the next day I was in heaven when I heard the news,” the Rouen native explained of his France selection. “I’m going to go there with the aim of showing my qualities and learning as much as possible from the France group, as advised by the coach (Niko Kovac).”

Having previously featured fleetingly during Robert Moreno’s short reign at the club, Tchouameni has since flourished under Kovac, the midfielder appearing in 49 games under the Croatian. Demonstrating a stunning ability to win back possession, the 6ft 1′ powerhouse last season had a Ligue 1 high 257 ball recoveries and also showed his attacking prowess by registering three goals and four assists across all competitions in 2020/21.

The recognition followed, with Tchouameni voted AS Monaco’s Player of the Season while he was also named the UNFP’s Young Player of the Year. With the former Bordeaux man continuing to impress in the new campaign, Didier Deschamps’s call has brought a timely lift for a player who has previously represented France at youth and Under-21 level. “It just goes to show that he worked hard; he is on the right track,” Kovac said when hearing of Tchouameni’s latest feat. “Now he must not change the way he plays and not overdo it. I told him to watch a lot, to learn more,” the coach added.

Involved in the Red & White’s opening goal during the first Ligue 1 victory of the current campaign against Troyes at the weekend, Tchouameni previously got off the scoring mark this season with a powerful header in the Champions League qualifier against Sparta Prague. Yet despite his formidable form of late, he admitted, “I still have a lot to learn.”

“Like I said last season, I have a lot to improve on. Rising higher is part of my progress, while keeping the team balanced.”

Stating that he studies the playing style of France internationals Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté closely, Tchouameni said he had no preference as to who he plays alongside in the AS Monaco engine room, where he has been joined by Youssouf Fofana, Eliot Matazo and, more recently, Jean Lucas. “Our positions are interchangeable, whether I play with Youssouf, Jean Lucas or Eliot.”

For now, Aurélien Tchouameni leaves for the international break as the latest AS Monaco player looking to bring pride to the club on the senior stage with Les Bleus.