Monaco’s fortunes have dwindled and the process has been pretty fast for Leonardo Jardim’s charges. From Ligue 1 champions two seasons ago, the club is now staring at relegation following their latest league defeat away to St. Etienne.
They have released a number of their stars in the last two seasons and this could have played a part, but they have been known for their prudence in managing ins and outs in the playing unit.
The question that begs is what has become of one of the most successful clubs in France? Could this be just a temporary blip as they adapt to life without some of their former stars, or could they be headed for the drop?
Monaco have taken pride in buying young promising players and guiding them into full professionals where they later sell them off for profit. This model has been very successful and the amount of transfer fees they have received over the last couple of seasons is proof of that.
Kylian Mbappe, Timoue Bakayoko, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy are just but a few names to have played for Monaco two seasons ago and they are now with other elite clubs across Europe. All these players were sold for a premium price but the club is paying for their departure in a different way. The lack of continuity is being reflected in the squad as the new crop of players will need time to gel.
Michael Emenalo was appointed as the club’s technical director a few months after relinquishing his position with Chelsea. He has been given the role of developing a sustainable model that allows them to nurture talent in a sustainable manner. This is the first season he is taking on that role and the transition could have affected results on the pitch.
It must not be lost that a good number of the players who guided them to second place last term have also left. Fabinho and Rachid Ghezzal, for example, are now playing in the Premier League. Keita Balde switched loyalties too after choosing to return back to Italy with Inter Milan. Unfortunately, there have been no like for like replacements for all the departed players.
Jardim has demonstrated in the past that he is an incredible tactician and all is not lost for them. His team is not short of leaders and Radamel Falcao will need to stand up and be counted during this difficult period. Djibril Sidibe and Gael Glik are equally experienced and they should play an important role in turning the fortunes of the club around. With the season being still young, they have enough time to reverse the current trend though we highly doubt they will be in contention for the title this season.