Football: AS Monaco look to the future

Romaric Etonde at his unveiling as a Monaco player

Whilst there is still uncertainty surrounding the managerial position at AS Monaco, the club are preparing for the future, handing out professional contracts to five exciting youth prospects. 

Mayssam Benama and Lucas Michal kickstarted the Principality club’s youth drive, signing a three-year contract with Les Monégasques at the end of May.

Benama – Photo source: AS Monaco

The former scored in the final of the Coupe Gambardella, as Monaco won the tournament at the Stade de France. 18-year-old Benama is an exciting prospect and has evidenced his potential with the club’s U19 side. Despite turning professional, it is unlikely that he will immediately integrate into the first-team set-up, and will instead likely feature more prominently for the Groupe Élite next season.

Michal was also an integral part of the Coupe Gambardella triumph, registering an assist in the 4-2 final victory against Clermont Foot. Like his U19 teammate, Michal, who is often deployed in attack, has signed a contract until 2026.

Michal – Photo source: AS Monaco

The club then pulled off a coup by bringing in Romaric Etondé from Paris Saint-Germain. Having come through the ranks in the Île-de-France region, firstly with Paris FC and then later PSG, he joins Monaco on a three-year deal, which will take effect from 1st July.

Etondé played for PSG’s U19 side last season, scoring six goals during that time, whilst he also featured for Les Parisiens in the prestigious Youth League. Like Benama, Etondé would be expected to slip into the Groupe Élite set-up next season.

Etondé – Photo source: AS Monaco

Players already within Damien Perrinelle’s Group Élite set-up have also been rewarded for their displays against some of Europe’s elite this season. Aurélien Platret, who grew up in the region, has signed his first professional deal, tying himself to the Principality club until June 2024.

Platret – Photo source: AS Monaco

Platret has often come off the bench for Monaco’s Groupe Élite this season, making a notable impact against Arsenal, where his introduction provided greater attacking thrust down the right.

Nazim Babaï is the latest to sign a contract with the club and, out of all of those to sign, is the closest to breaking into the first team. The right-back has trained with the first team this season, although he is yet to make his first-team debut for Monaco.

Babaï – Photo source: AS Monaco

The Algeria U20 international has been a mainstay in the Groupe Élite and has been rewarded for his consistency throughout the season with a three-year deal. Whilst first-team chances may be at a premium in the short term, given the competition for places, development and progression will be facilitated through Monaco’s novel Groupe Élite system or loans to Cercle Brugge.

An increasing amount of Monaco players are joining Monaco’s satellite club in Belgium, and Cercle’s Sporting Director Carlos Aviña said earlier this summer that he expects to receive four players from the Principality club this summer.


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Photo sources: AS Monaco