Almamy Toure 20 Defender AS Monaco Mali
The jury is still out on what might become Almamy Touré’s regular position. As he progressed through the youth system at Monaco he was always considered to be a ball-playing centre-back who could carry the ball out of defence. However his initial chance in the first team at the French club came as a full-back and he has looked pretty competent in the games he has played there so far.
At ease on the ball, fearless in his runs forward and with a calm head for when he does get to the attacking third, there is a lot to like about Touré as a defensive full-back. He isn’t going to be ever mistaken for a failed winger who was shoved back into a right-back slot. He does his defensive duties very well and though he is able to get up and down the line to support attacks as a full-back, his attacking abilities do still need some work if he wants to be a right-back full time.
Incredibly his first start came in the Champions League knock-out stages away at Arsenal. He was very sure footed for a debutant though he was arguably helped by having roving forward Danny Welbeck to look after that evening, rather than a particularly tricky winger.
He followed that game up with a string of confident performances and has been a steady member of the first team squad since – when fit.
2016 has been…
…a total write-off, unfortunately.
Almost to the second since we pressed publish on The 100 for 2016, Almamy’s year has been ravaged by injury (okay – not to the second, but in the same couple of weeks).
He lost from December to February because of a shinbone injury, then missed from April right up to the end of August with an ankle problem and most recently missed five weeks through October and November with a hip problem.
It has been pleasing to see his name on the team sheets for recent Monaco games, even if he has only been an unused substitute.
In truth the only reason this grade isn’t a massive U is because he went straight back into the Monaco team for a spell during September and October. It’s his place in the team if he can keep his body in check.
For now staying fit should be his priority. Moves to the Premier League or elsewhere in France will come if he can prove himself able to handle the demands of a season, and it’ll pay off in a big way for both player and club.
Buy cheap and recruit young so they can be sold at a high price is the new mantra around Monaco. They flirted with the idea of buying a seat at Europe’s top table – but that strategy ultimately cost more money than the owner was willing to part with. Instead they have filled their squad with an array of exciting young players and Touré – a product of their youth academy – is a brilliant example of that.
D Get fit, stay fit
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