This season can only be described as a fantastic season as a whole for AS Monaco both domestically and on the European stage. Currently leading the way in Ligue 1 despite being joint top with PSG with having a game in hand over their rivals, and earning their way into the last four of the Champions League, the campaign on a whole has highlighted what a talented group of players this is and also how good a manager Leonardo Jardim has proved to be for the French club. The mixture of experience and youth is the backbone of what is good about this Monaco side, the nature of playing a 4-4-2 formation and making it so successful even when playing Champions League football is a bold move by Jardim and an effective move by the manager. The clubs across Europe have been putting on high alert with the talent emerging within the clubs and it has been no secret, none more so than eighteen year Kylian Mbappé. The young Frenchman has major scouts watching him on a consistent basis as well other names who have dominated transfer talk throughout the season. Bernardo Silva, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy look to have certainly drawn the most attention along with Mbappé. However Thomas Lemar is one player who despite getting plaudits, I don’t believe gets the credit that he deserves.
Lemar is a player that despite his statistics, still fans and football viewers don’t quite recognise the contribution he makes to this Monaco team. Generally the energetic Frenchman operates on the left hand side for Monaco, playing more of a left sided midfielder which could be described as an old fashioned position. His ability to operate offensively and defensively is invaluable to this side especially with the attacking mentality of left back Benjamin Mendy. Lemar possesses characteristics to his game that make him one of the invaluable members to this Monaco side. His ten assists in all competition this season shows the ability he has to create chances, especially on dead ball situations. His technique when delivering Corner kicks and Free Kicks is up there amongst the best in Europe this season without a doubt. The twenty-one year old Frenchman is now a full international and justifiably so, the French National side is now considered one of if not the best International pool of talent around and Lemar is now deservedly involved within that set-up.
What is most impressive about Lemar would have to be his football brain. For a young player, his development from leaving Caen playing in Ligue 2 in France to a first team regular in the Monaco team has been highly impressive. The 3 million euros that Monaco looks to have paid for him would have to be considered as good a bargain as perhaps the 5.6 million euros Leicester paid for Kante from Caen as well. Lemar has the ability to play in different positions across the front for Monaco and operated in these areas. For the future playing in a number ten role might just prove to be his most effective position when you consider his range of passing, his ability to control a game, the timing of runs, his ability to move in behind or play to play in between the lines. His return of nine goals this season can also not be ignored, usually the architect of creating goals or being involved in the moves that lead up to goals for the team, his technical ability also opens up his chances to score goals. Followers of English football might only know about his goal against Manchester City this season, but that goal illustrates the talent of Lemar. His ability to open the goal up for himself, show composure to execute his finish and also his technique to deceive the goalkeeper to place the ball the other side of the goalkeepers stance, that goal showed so much in ability in one strike.
The hope is now that Monaco can deliver some form of silverware this season that they truly deserve for the hard work of the players and also of the manager. Lemar is one of the key men to this side so keep him fit and he could certainly play a massive role in the outcome to the season which they might produce. Personally I have watched Lemar for his two seasons with Monaco and briefly with Caen so I know the ability the young Frenchman possesses. A common quote I have heard throughout this season with coverage of Monaco is commentators and pundits saying that they did not quite realise how good a player Lemar actually is.
This Monaco side is attracting big attention and deservedly so, I for one would not be surprised in the slightest however if Lemar is the player from this group that is the major success story.