Thursday, September 21, 2017

Monaco boss Jardim encouraged by player loyalty

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 7 Sep 2017

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Monaco may have seen Kylian Mbappe join the plethora of stars leaving their title-winning side during the close-season but Leonardo Jardim believes the champions have grown in stature.

Mbappe departed the Stade Louis II on deadline day after agreeing an initial loan deal with Paris Saint-Germain, a move that will become permanent in 2018 for a reported €180million.

He followed the big-money exits of Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko to the Premier League.

Despite the departures, Monaco were able to keep hold of the likes of Thomas Lemar and Fabinho despite interest from across Europe, Lemar a late transfer target for Arsenal with a reported €100m bid.

Seeing Lemar opt to remain in Monaco buoyed Jardim as the league campaign prepares to get back underway, the head coach feeling the loyalty most of his player’s have shown is proof of the development at the club.

“That players have said no to proposals from some clubs proves that Monaco has grown,” Jardim told a media conference.

“I am glad to have my final group. I don’t want to talk about the players who have left.”

Jardim used the funds generated by the exits to bring in 10 players – including Keita Balde from Lazio and Inter’s Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic.

Monaco travel to Nice this weekend as Ligue 1 returns from the international break but some of their new faces may not be thrown straight into the action.

“It is necessary to take stock with the players who have arrived in the last days of the market,” he added.

“We might need to leave them a little time.

“Keita Balde will only arrive tomorrow [Friday] and Stevan Jovetic has only done two training sessions with us.

“I think [Radamel] Falcao will be able to play but maybe not 90 minutes, we’ll see.”

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