It’s been a good ten days since the 2020 summer transfer window closed. After welcoming the experienced Italian goalkeepr Vito Mannoneand the young Portuguese defensive midfielder Florentino Luis, AS Monaco has therefore finished its mercato in terms of its arrivals, while remaining very active in the departures department, in an attempt to reduce the professional group to around 30 players. It was an opportunity for Vice President and CEO Oleg Petrov and Sporting Director Paul Mitchell to take stock of this long period, which lasted four months.
Oleg Petrov (Vice President and CEO) :
Hello everyone and thank you for being here for the presentation of Vito and Florentino. Our transfer window has come to an end. It was a very long and very difficult transfer window. We have been very active, with an initial objective of rebalancing the team. We had over 70 in the squad at the start of the transfer window, and we’re down to 40 players today, 30 professional players and 10 youngsters in the Academy. The second objective was to respond to opportunities in the market to stick to our way of playing, to the system of our coach Niko Kovac.. Kevin Volland, Axel Disasi and Caio Henrique also arrived before these last two recruits. The young players have also given us a lot of satisfaction, many of whom came from the Academy here at AS Monaco. I think the Club has really given itself the means to succeed in achieving its goals for the season.
Paul Mitchell (Sporting Director):
How do you assess the transfer window?
Hello everyone, it is a pleasure for us to present our two latest recruits, Vito Mannone and Florentino Luis. Regarding Vito, it’s always difficult to recruit a good, experienced goalkeeper and we are happy to have Vito among us and we will build with his experience. He finished as the top goalie in MLS last season, and I think he’s going to help young Radoslaw Majecki progress and allow Benjamin Lecomte to be even better. We also welcome Florentino to our AS Monaco family. He is proof that we are looking for very competitive profiles for each position, to bring competition into the squad. He comes from Benfica, with whom he has played at the highes level in the Champions League and the Europa League. He is also a Portuguese U21 international, having been called up in all of his country’s youth sides. He will therefore bring additional competition to midfield. More generally concerning our transfer window, we have shown our ambition by keeping our best players who were in great demand such as Wissam Ben Yedder, Benoît Badiashile or Djibril Sidibé. We have also responded to opportunities that emerged in the market, so I think the results are very good.
Can you tell us more about the arrival of James Bunce?
We know in modern football the physical demands have become more and more important in the last ten years. We realize that a team that is well-developed physically team necessarily obtains results. It was therefore important for us strategically to recruit someone who could take charge of a department that unites physical conditioning, performance and nutrition. We needed this because in the past there has been a lot of criticism of how many injuries we’ve had. We believe that the physical performance of our players will improve thanks to James Bunce. He is very young but when you look at his CV he already has enormous experience and has contributed to the succesful performances of many athletes. I had known him already when I was in Southampton. He was also in charge of 20 different teams during his experience at US Soccer including the women who became world champions. So I think that’s real added value for us. We hope it will take us to the next level.
What can you tell us about the situation of Jemerson, Samuel Grandsir and Youssef Aït Bennasser?
They are currently in a phase of intense training and reconditioning, so that they are in the best possible condition when they are able to return to the squad. They are working hard on a daily basis under the supervision of our Performance Director James Bunce, to be ready and in condition to be available to the coach.