Liverpool has been linked in the past but it seems that 19-year-old defensive midfielder Tiemoué Bakayoko is set to stay in France for a couple more years. However, the young talent is set to change clubs this summer as AS Monaco are close to completing a €6 million move for the highlight rated player according to French newspaper L'Equipe.
Last season the Monaco midfield was experienced but lacked a young dynamic edge, something that Bakayoko will add if given game time. Jeremy Toulalan is still at the club, but the ever-impressive Mounir Obbadi has moved on to Italy, leaving Geoffrey Kondogbia and Joao Moutinho as the other remaining first-team midfielders.
Last season, Bakayoko broke into the Stade Rennes side under the guidance of new boss Philippe Montanier. With the emphasis on youth, it was great to see Bakayoko alongside Abdoulaye Doucoure, Cedric Houtondji and Adrien Hunou make their mark on the Breton side.
Bakayoko did enough in his 24 league appearances to alert the attentions of Manchester United and Liverpool.
Impressing with his excellently timed tackles and his reading of the game with interceptions and positioning to protect the defence.
Bakayoko was named as one of France’s top 50 talents in French Football Weekly’s annual Le50 list. Rennes traditionally has one of the best youth academies in Europe, and easily the best in France. The fee may seem low compared to how players move in England, but the €6 million will fuel the academy for another couple of seasons.
Spending £4m on a young defensive midfielder would have been nothing for either Manchester United or Liverpool, but the player would have struggled to make any sort of instant impact in the Premier League.
The move to Monaco makes sense; he should be able to play a high amount of games, with Monaco playing in the Champions League and both domestic cups. It may not be the continued exposure in Ligue 1 that he enjoyed last season, but playing beside Jeremy Toulalan and Joao Moutinho and in front of Ricardo Carvalho will bring on his games leaps and bounds.
It’s always hard to watch talented young players leave their parent club, but hopefully this won’t be the last we hear of Tiemoué Bakayoko.