Like his predecessors, he was treated to a bit of “hazing” during dinner on Monday evening to close the first day in Birmingham. It was therefore perched on his chair that Ritchy Valme, 18, sang “Yakalelo” by French rapper SDM in front of players and staff. Captain of the Coupe Gambardella winning team in April, the central defender from the Academy has thus followed in the footsteps of Edan Diop and Eliesse Ben Seghir.
Plenty of former U-19 players
They are, of course, the latest players to have joined the first team after playing with the Elite Group last year, his two former partners from the U-19 team, finalists in the league in 2022, had already experienced a similar situation in Benidorm in Spain, last December. It is therefore with the same care but also a desire to express himslef, that the native of Gonesse – like Axel Disasi -, joined the group of 29 taken by coach Adi Hütter to England.
“Big brothers” Chrislain and Eliot
And he was not too out of place, since ten other former residents of the Academy also made the trip to St. George’s Park, the training home of England’s Three Lions. Already present in 2020 with the Rouge et Blanc, Chrislain Matsima and Eliot Matazo have become something like big brothers despite their youth, as this is their fourth preseason with the team. They are joined by Maghnes Akliouche and Félix Lemarechal, for whom this is their third, as they were integrated a year later with the “big guys”.
Talent in each sector of the squad
There’s also Soungoutou Magassa and Yllan Okou who have followed in their footsteps by being called up regularly with the first team from January 2022 and playing in the Coupe de France against Quevilly-Rouen. And we can’t forget Yann Lienard who also took the leap to join the pros by becoming the team’s number three goalkeeper last season, being regularly called up to the Monegasque first team, especially for away matches.
From the U-20 World Cup to preseason
He made some very good saves in training this Tuesday, denying some very inspired attackers. But before that, he had the honor of playing in the U-20 World Cup this summer with France alongside three of his club teammates. One of which Malamine Efekele, is also present for this camp in Birmingham, having participated in the same in Faro in Portugal a year ago.
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) July 18, 2023
Before becoming part of the Elite Group this year… like Ritchy! This is proof that the young talents trained at La Diagonale are gradually taking their place in the AS Monaco squad alongside their elders. And that this bridge exists to the professional world, more than ever. Daghe les gars! 🇲🇨