coronations go, Monaco’s 4-0 win over Lille at the Stade Louis II was almost pitch-perfect, a performance that was a microcosm of the team’s style and the success it has produced this season. Thomas Lemar had a wicked cross from the left flank headed in by Radamel Falcao; Kylian Mbappé embarrassed Franck Béria before slipping in Bernardo Silva for Monaco’s second goal; and Danijel Subasic delivered a handful of fine saves to preserve a clean sheet. Each of these five players has his own compelling narrative this season. With the exception of Falcao, they have become household names almost overnight on the back of an unlikely title and an even more improbable run to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Falcao has returned to somewhere near the heights he enjoose seems likely to be Tiemoué Bakayoko, with Chelsea apparently attracted to the hulking midfielder as a potential upgrade on Nemanja Matic. Djibril Sidibé had been close to joining Arsenal last summer before opting for Monaco over concerns about playing time in London, but if Hector Bellerín returns to Barcelona, as some have suggested, Sidibé could be on the move as well. These rumours are just a few of the dozens making the rounds, but Monaco have already begun to build for the future, as the club appear to have secured the services of young Belgian international Youri Tielemans from Anderlecht this summer. An attack-minded central midfielder, his tactical versatility and eye for goal make him an ideal replacement for Bakayoko, even if he does not possess as much physical presence. More players are sure to follow, but Monaco also have an impressive stable of players out on loan as well. Allan Saint-Maximin’s dazzling ability on the ball has impressed at Bastia, while Corentin Jean and Rony Lopes have also looked good in flashes. Malian midfielder Adama Traoré, a former U-20 World Cup Golden Ball winner, remains an intriguing if erratic prospect, despite being starved for playing time with Portuguese club Rio Ave.
Many may worry that seeing this Monaco team is akin to a sort of