It’s incredible to think that it was only in 2017 when Monaco won Ligue 1 and wrestled the title from PSG’s hands. Since 2012 only PSG have been champions of France apart from Monaco’s saving grace three years ago. But it is a fact that it remains incredible given how Monaco fell to pieces soon after.
Twice since then the club have almost been relegated and had to fight for everything. Much of this was not down to Leonardo Jardim their long time and suffering coach who actually had two spells at the club in a quite chaotic time. Jardim made miracles happen, but the owners were intent on buying cheap and selling for profit and Monaco soon became the stock exchange of European football.
There has been so much brilliant talent come out of the side in the past 3 years with the creme de la creme being the emergence of Kylian Mbappe who predictably was snapped up by PSG. Monaco have done amazing financial business but it has hit them. One suspects that the club are looking in a different direction as they try to become challengers once again.
They have employed Niko Kovac, ex Bayern Munich coach who won the German Bundesliga with them. He comes with some experience, and there was certainly hope last season as Monaco finished in the top half of the table after a decent run.
The signing of Wissam Ben Yedder from Sevilla has been some of the best business seen in Europe- Ben Yedder scores goals and wins games. He scored 19 goals in all competitions for Monaco last season from just 30 games, and is a natural striker.
This feels like the first summer where you look at who Monaco have sold and there are no gasps- they have actually kept their best players. Much of their transfers in have remained officially undisclosed but they have still brought in some interesting players for the new season ahead. These include Kevin Volland from Bayer Leverkusen and Caio Henrique from Atletico Madrid both quality players.
But what really catches the eye if you follow French football is that they have also bought Axel Disasi from Reims, Disasi was probably Reims best player last season and this is a really great capture.
As for this season Monaco have started with 4 points from 2 games. They drew 2-2 with Reims at home which felt like a poor result but given that they were trailing by 2 goals it was actually a good point. They then beat Metz 1-0 the week after. Monaco will be looking to challenge strong in the league this season. Whilst winning the league seems too much of a stretch this season there is every chance they can claim a Champions League place and be back on the football scene once more.