Academy 27 July 2022, 03:59

A pro debut for four Academy products in Porto

A pro debut for four Academy products in Porto
During AS Monaco's two friendly matches against FC Porto (first against the reserves on Friday, then against the first team of the Portuguese champions on Saturday evening), four players from La Diagonale made their professional debuts.

They are the strength and DNA of AS Monaco! More and more of them are discovering the world of professional football and making the Principality club proud, and the young talents from the Academy were once again in the spotlight this weekend in Porto. Against the reserves of the 2022 Portuguese champion and then against the first team, four of them were able to take their first steps in Rouge et Blanc.

A baptism by fire for Ben Seghir… and nearly a goal!

Last Friday, Eliesse Ben Seghir celebrated his first start with the first team against Porto B (2-0 success). A recent finalist in the U19 national final against Nantes (a 3-2 defeat), the playmaker started for the occasion in support of Breel Embolo, the second Monegasque recruit of the summer. He even almost scored his first goal with the first team, if the referee of the meeting had not whistled at the same time a penalty in favor of the Swiss international striker (45′).

A night of firsts for Coulibaly, Liénard and Diop

Replaced at half-time by his friend, Mamadou Coulibaly – who signed his first pro contract on May 5 -, it was also a first with the “big boys”, as Eliesse featured again the next day. He replaced Takumi Minamino in the 61st minute at the Estadio Do Dragão in a 2-1 defeat. Finally, the young Monegasque goalkeeper, Yann Liénard, a semi-finalist of the U-19 Euros with France last June and Edan Diop, little brother of Sofiane and part of the U19s with Frédéric Barilaro last season, also made appearances against the Portuguese reserves.

12 young Monégasques make their debuts this year

The tall goalkeeper (1.93m), who will have the opportunity to improve further this year  working with the first team, was replaced Thomas Didillon on the hour mark, while the Touraine-born midfielder took the place of Gelson Martins. It was a good experience for all these youngsters, in addition to those who’ve already debuted this season (Akliouche, Lemarechal, Magassa, Okou, Tiago Ribeiro), and since the start of the preseason (Bamba, Couto, Efekele), which confirms that AS Monaco has plenty of trusts in its academy.

It was the first time for some that they played at this level, and it is much higher than the N2 or the U19s last season. It's a great experience for them, and it's important that they experience these kinds of matches. I am happy to have been able to give them the opportunity to show what they can do.
Philippe ClementAfter the match against Porto

In all, there are now 12 players from the Academy who have taken their first steps with the first team in the last year, and there were even eight players on the pitch at the final whistle against Porto B, in the eleven of Philippe Clement. As a reminder, the Club also appears again this year in the top 5 of the ranking of the best academies in France by the FFF.


Rise. Risk. Repeat.