AS Monaco FC youth product Almamy Touré has burst onto the scene this year in UEFA Champions League, Ligue 1 and French Cup – out of position at right-back.
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UEFA.com continues its weekly wonderkid feature by looking at AS Monaco FC's Almamy Touré.
Name: Almamy Touré
Club: AS Monaco FC
Debut: 11 February 2015 v Stade Rennais FC (French Cup)
Date of birth: 28/04/1996
Preferred foot: right
They say …
"He is an option for us in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League."
Leonardo Jardim, Monaco coach
Born in Bamako, Mali, Touré played with FC Bourget near Paris before joining Monaco's youth academy in July 2010 at the age of 14. He made his first-team debut on 11 February this year during a Coupe de France tie against Rennes, scoring the first goal for the Rouge et Blanc. His Ligue 1 bow followed nine days later at OGC Nice when he came off the bench to replace Layvin Kurzawa. On 25 February, Touré featured in his maiden UEFA Champions League match, as a starter, in Monaco's surprise win at Arsenal FC in the round of 16 first leg.
Playing style …
A centre-half often positioned as a right-back by boss Jardim, Touré can also operate as a holding midfielder. With pace to burn and decent passing, he has proved to be a dynamic impact player as well as a good defender. Despite limited top-flight playing time, the 18-year-old is already on Juventus's radar apparently.
Shades of …
Jardim sees a bit of both ASM's Andrea Raggi and Chelsea FC's Branislav Ivanović in Touré, while fans tend to compare him to former Juventus player Lilian Thuram.
Eureka moment ...
The Malian had a major role in his side's tremendous victory away to Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League. It was only his second first-team start yet Touré looked unfazed, even though he was marking Danny Welbeck. He performed well on the right – and even dispossessed the England forward virtually inside the Arsenal half before passing to João Moutinho to serve Geoffrey Kondogbia for the opening goal.
Best-case scenario …
Rumour has Juve considering a move for Touré though he is tied to Monaco till the end of next term. The principality outfit might consider a contract renewal, which would guarantee the teenager more experience in both domestic and UEFA competitions before any possible future transfer to a so-called bigger club.
He says …
"It is quite new for me to play right-back. The coach asked me to play as a wing-back in training – I did my best and he was happy with my efforts. Then I had to play as a right-back to cover for some injured players. That went OK so I was given a few more games!"