French football has gone through a proper renaissance over the past couple of years.
With Ligue 1 back on the map and elbowing its way against the more bulging football competitions around the western Europe, French football not only has PSG to thank for its rise back to prominence.
It is the likes of OGC Nice and especially AS Monaco that raised the profile of the French football significantly over the past couple of seasons. The Principality club as the current French champion stands as the most exciting specimen with its most recent dealings being a perfect reflection of everything that has been going on through the history of the eight-time Ligue 1 winners.
As a club formed through a unification of numerous local clubs based in the principality, AS Monaco stood on its feet in 1924 in the amateur regional divisions of the Provence region before the club got invited to turn professional in 1933.
The early years under the wing of the French Football Federation brought nothing but failure for the Monegasques who got relegated back to the amateur years and once again turned professional by 1948.
The sixties were considered the first successful period of the club. Led by Lucien Leduc, AS Monaco won their first ever professional trophy – the Coupe de France – whereas it was until the 1990s that AS Monaco established themselves as a big presence in French football.
The older generation of AS Monaco supporters still remember Arsene Wenger whose reign saw the club enjoy one of the most successful periods before the club got relegated once again.
The arrival of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2011 was expected to get the club out of the gutter and push it to prominence once again after the tumultuous decade. The majority owner invested a great deal of money to help the club earn promotion back to Ligue 1 making AS Monaco one of the biggest spenders in Europe in 2013 when the French outfit forked roughly £140 million.
The club-record £50 million investment in then Atletico Madrid star Radamel Falcao marked the beginning of a new era for the club.
Heavy investing became a widespread trend in world football and AS Monaco were just another club to join the bandwagon led by their league rivals PSG and their Qatari owners. Unlike some more successful foreign investing stories such as Manchester City, AS Monaco’s did not hit off immediately and took some settling.
Bags of money spent on new signing produced little result and the new owner quickly decided to change his business model. Instead of pouring money of big-name stars, AS Monaco started investing in promising players and bright prospects which marked the transformation period for the French champions.
The New Era
Leonardo Jardim and his youthful side took the French football by storm as they rushed to the Ligue 1 title, their first after long 17 years.
It was thanks to the likes of first-team biggest star Kylian Mbappe, captain Radamel Falcao, Thomas Lemar, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko among others that AS Monaco got back on the map in France. Unfortunately, three of these aforementioned players have already been sold and two are also looking toward the exit door.
Demands and rules of the corporate football make it difficult for clubs to hold on to their key players, but AS Monaco fortunately found a model that offers great promise to their fans.
With Liverpool poised to snatch Thomas Lemar for which you can currently get 1/2 betting odds and Kylian Mbappe already seen as the new PSG star, AS Monaco wasted no tears over the spilt milk. Instead, they went full force into the transfer market bringing in no less than 10 promising players.
Terence Kongolo, Rachid Ghezzal and Youri Tielemans have this week been joined by Lazio attacking star Keita Balde and former Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic, who has been handed Mbappe’s No.10 shirt.
The last two players commanded a combined transfer fee in excess of £38 million which is considered a bargain in terms of current market standards especially since their qualities are believed to be a perfect fit for a side like AS Monaco and for an attack-oriented managed Jardim.
This double piece of business also serves as a great proof of AS Monaco’s shrewd spending policy that builds upon a newly installed model which can be considered a novelty in contemporary, heavily spending footballing world.
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