Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to Aurelien Tchouameni would be to list the players who were left out of Didier Deschamps’ most recent France squad at the expense of Monaco’s midfield general.
Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Lemar, Tanguy Ndombele, Houssem Aouar, Eduardo Camavinga and 71-cap veteran Moussa Sissoko will all be watching France’s UEFA Nations League semi-final with Belgium this week from the comfort of their plush sofas.
Tchouameni, meanwhile, will be going toe to toe with Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans and co. The 21-year-old, who only made his Les Bleus debut last month, will be looking to prove he can perform on the biggest stage against the best opposition.
At least Tchouameni already has the trust of a man who’s likely to partner him in the heart of Deschamps’ engine room at the Juventus Stadium on Thursday night.
Aurelien Tchouameni could be the future of France and Liverpool
“Very very good. He’s not a boy, he’s a man,” Pogba told Ouest France in September of the former Bordeaux youngster, a key cog in the Monaco side that flirted with Ligue 1 glory last season.
“It was a pleasure to play next to him. He brings a lot of energy and extraordinary technical and physical quality.
“We wish him to play lots of matches and that I am always at his side.”
As far as midfield partnerships go, Tchouameni and Pogba seem to compliment each other as well as peppercorn sauce and a seasoned slab of medium-rare steak.
Pogba is at his swaggering, peacocking best when given the freedom to go about his business unencumbered by defensive responsibilities, while Tchouameni is happy to do the dirty work, averaging a highly impressive 2.9 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game in Ligue 1 (WhoScored).
Unfortunately for Monaco, their best and brightest don’t tend to hang around the Principality for long. And, according to Tuttosport, there’s a chance Tchouameni will soon follow in Fabinho’s footsteps.
Or Tiemoue Bakayoko’s, to use a less flattering comparison.
Liverpool are watching closely, as are Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea and a Juventus side that has never replaced the youngster’s World Cup-winning compatriot Blaise Matuidi, with balance and energy levels suffering as a result.
But while Pogba is relishing the prospect of playing with Tchouameni at international level, we can’t imagine the Manchester United playmaker will be keen to play against him in the Premier League any time soon.