Almamy Toure: Why Arsenal and Barca are Interested in the Monaco Starlet

Barcelona have been reported to be keeping tabs on Monaco youngster Almamy Toure. The 19-year-old right back has caught the eye of many people by his performances for the French side.

Born in Bamako, Mali, he played with FC Bourget near Paris initially and joined Monaco in July 2010, as a 14-year-old.


Established a good reputation

Toure was able to quickly establish a good reputation for himself since he made his debut in February last year during a Coupe de France tie against Rennes where he also scored a goal. Just nine days later, he was brought on in the league to substitute Layvin Kurzawa.

His performance in both the games was impressive and it wasnt surprising when he was picked to play against Arsenal in the Champions League five days later. He put on a sure-footed performance and was influential in the 1-3 win over the English side. He signed a new four-year contract with the French side in May 2015, as Monaco understood they have a real star within their ranks.

He actually started as a centre-half, but has been positioned as a right-back by boss Jardim and his future thus looks set in that role. However, he can give the team the added option of being able to play centrally in the defence as well as ahead in a holding role.


Impressive form and attributes

The full-back has featured in 10 games for Monaco in the league and has an impressive three goals and two assists to his name. He averages 2.2 tackles and 2.8 interceptions every 90 minutes which illustrate the fact that he is strong and proactive while doing the defensive work and doesnt get too caught up in getting involved in the attacking side of things.

Having said that, the fact that he has been involved in five goals in 10 league matches shows that he enjoys getting involved in the attack, and can evidently do a good job. He scored two goals against Marseille in November, ensuring his side got a point from a crucial game. He has the ability to knit clever passes and help his side move the play forward. In a nutshell, his positioning is pretty good as he likes to stay closer to the opponent on the flank to ensure he can regain possession.

At 19 years of age, Toures mentality is also his impressive strength. This often lacks in a lot of players, but Toure looks determined and can be seen working extra hard on and off the pitch.

Like mentioned before, top clubs like Barcelona have been linked with the right back (and Arsenal were also said to be scouting the player).

Compared to former Juventus player Lilian Thuram, the Malian is playing well under manager Leonardo Jardim, who obviously has played a key role for the player so far. He needs to be at a place where his development can continue and Monaco seems the ideal place for that.


Could leave in the summer

However, given Monacos buy-cheap-sell-high policy, it wouldnt be surprising to see the 19-year-old leave the club in the summer, especially if a club like Barcelona, who need a long term replacement for Dani Alves, comes calling.

In fairness, Barcelona would be able to offer the youngster an ideal atmosphere for his development as well. Its likely that the youngster could cost any suitor a chunk of money but going by the current scenario, Toure will be well worth that money.


Written by Aakriti Mehrotra

Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1

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