Champions League fans will be licking their lips at Manchester City’s trip to Monaco this Wednesday, following an eight-goal thriller in the reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium last month.
Leonardo Jardim’s side may have come away from Manchester licking their wounds and wondering how they squandered a 3-2 lead to enter the ultimate leg chasing a two-goal deficit, but the attacking performance from their young stars has created plenty of interest around Europe.
Not only have Monaco emerged as potential dark horses in the 2016/17 edition of Europe’s top competition, but countless supporters around the continent are hoping some of the Stade Louis II outfit’s top talents end up joining their club in the next transfer window.
With that in mind and another multi-goal affair expected in France on Wednesday evening, we asked Arsenal fans earlier this week to vote for which Monaco stars Gunners supporters should keep their eyes peeled for. The results of our poll are now in, so here’s a rundown of the top three…
Tall, powerful and defensively assured, Tiemoue Bakayoko embodies exactly what Arsenal’s engine room has lacked since the says of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva. Not that the 22-year-old holding midfielder’s game is strictly limited to protecting the defence; he’s a dynamic presence as well, averaging 2.2 successful dribbles per match in the Champions League this term. The Frenchman couldn’t stop City scoring five times at the Etihad last month but a combination of physical and technical qualities makes him a perfect fit for Premier League football.
Another central midfield option seemingly at the forefront of Arsenal fans’ collective thinking is Brazilian Fabinho. The South American can operate at wing-back or in the engine room, but the latter has been the location for his best performances this season with seven goals in Ligue 1. He was a massive influence on the first leg last month, supplying Monaco’s first two goals, but will be keen to get his foot on the ball a little more at Stade Louis II.
Perhaps due to the fact Arsene Wenger has likened him to Thierry Henry and already admitted an interest in signing him, strike starlet Kylian Mbappe ranked first in our poll. The teenager has come on leaps and bounds since making his first-team debut in December 2015, netting 16 times across all competitions this season and bagging seven goals for France’s U19 squad throughout the last calendar year. He scored past City in the first leg and produced a Man of the Match display against Nantes earlier this month (above), with a brace in a 4-0 win.