What is your dream soccer team? Who would you have in the forward line? And how much would you spend to build it. AS Monaco have spawned two of the favourite star forwards in French League 1, but you have to choose which one. You can’t have both of them. That’s the type of challenge that every top manager faces.
AS Monaco brought attacking mid-fielder Russian star 23 year Alexandr Golovin on board from Moscow for 30 million euros in 2018 for its most expensive signing that season. A world class player who stars in the Russian national squad, on his shoulders rest AS Monaco’s hopes to build towards glory again, after the turmoil in 2018. And your other star choice is Kyle Mbappe developed at AS Monaco to be arguably the best centre forward in the world and sold for an eye-popping 180 million euros to PSG.
Different price tags, with Golovin positioned as one of the key hopes for AS Monaco’s resurgence, and Mbappe one of the key architects of AS Monaco’s past taste of glory at the top of the French League, before being sold.
Take a look at their pedigree; both have impressive achievements that got them to prominence and central to their teams hopes. But one costs six times the other.
Golovin (30 million euros)
He is a native of Siberia and was developed at CSKA Moscow, with a record of performing at the highest level. With the Russian under-17 team he brought home a European championship. There followed more success being in the final eight teams in the under-17 World Cup. Two years later in 2015 and graduating to the under-19 team he helped take Russia to another European final. Then as a senior with only eight games under his belt he was selected for Russia’s national squad.
Aleksandr made his first league debut at the age of 18 in 2015. In three professional seasons with the Moscow club, this right-footed midfielder played 113 matches – including 23 Champions League and Europa League matches – and was crowned Russian champion in 2016. After having participated in Euro 2016, Golovin notably contributed to Russia’s excellent run at the 2018 World Cup (quarter-final ) by scoring a goal and delivering two assists.
Compare that to the 180 million euros it would cost to select Mbappe for your squad.
Mbappe 180 million euros
Mbappé started his senior career with Monaco who specialize in grooming young talent, making his professional debut in 2015, aged just 16. With them, he won a Ligue 1 title, Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year, and the Golden Boy award. In 2017, he signed for league rivals Paris Saint-Germain concluded in 2018 in a transfer worth €180 million, making him the second-most expensive player, and most expensive teen ever! With PSG, Mbappé has won three Ligue 1 titles, a Coupe de France, and has finished as Ligue 1 top scorer twice.
At international level, at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Mbappé became the youngest French player to score at a World Cup. He finished as the joint second-highest goalscorer as France won the tournament.
For their 180 million euros PSG has already got some ״bang for their buck” with Mbappe notably ending co-top scorer in Ligue 1 with 18 goals. He made over 85 attempts, almost 50 of them on target.
As for Alexandr Golovin it is taking a special player like him with flair to change the dynamic in the AS Monaco squad. Even within this highly disciplined team there are magic moments that turn the game and for a mere 30 million euros Golovin has magic in his feet. He has established himself as the master orchestrator of ASM with more than 160 passes into the opposing half , more than 80 more than any other player in AS Monaco. With a double and a telling pass, he also made a return on the 30 million investment by dominating in the derby against Nice (3-1) last September.
Interestingly both Golovin and Mbappe are up for a vote by Équipe for an attacking position on a dream team. They are pitted against Florent Mollet, Montpellier, and Dimitri Payet, OM.
Who would you choose? Spend your money wisely!