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AS Monaco player Tiemoue Bakayoko

22 year-old Tiémoué Bakayoko is looking forward to his upcoming matches and faces a difficult decision for his future in terms of selection.

Bakayoko is no longer part of the France Espoirs team, although the Monegasque defensive midfielder took advantage of the break in order to rest and recharge his batteries before travelling to Lorient, and going back to the Champions League, with the arrival of Tottenham.

– How are you feeling physically?

I played with a bandage during the last few matches, but everything is fine. I took advantage of the the break to look after my health. The important thing, now, is to restart the engine.

For the first time in a while, you have spent your break at La Turbie. How does this change the way you work?

This allows me to recuperate. A week of no matches, it’s always a good thing before important challenges like the Champions League, or even Lorient. We have worked hard during this time, so in a way it’s a good thing not to be selected.

You are highly sought after by the Ivory Coast national team, it’s an important time in your career.

I’ve attended youth selections for the French team for a while now, and I’m appreciated, but the most important thing is AS Monaco. The club is always the most important, so for now I will above all be concentrating on AS Monaco.

– You played against the bottom of the rankings, Lorient. Is it easy to get motivated for this type of match?

In Ligue 1, all the matches are complicated and difficult. These last few times, we managed our matches pretty well, everything looks good, but this is why you have to be careful. We are aware that Lorient has had a tough start to the championship, but we have always had to deliver complicated performances there. With the new coach, they will try to show what they can do and will not be taking this match lightly. The mistake would be to already start thinking about Tottenham.

Which international future is in store?

Born in 1994, Tiémoué Bakayoko is no longer attached to France Espoirs, with whom he has had 13 selections. His future looks bright. But with whom? For the young Monegasque player, he has two choices: France or the Ivory Coast, the country of his family’s origin. A difficult choice for the young man, “For now, I’ve still not decided. I am giving myself time to think, at least until the end of the season. These are two big selections, so I will have to choose,” he states when the subject is raised.

Recently the Ivory Coast selection has done everything possible to convince him to choose the Elephants. The Ivory Coast Federation sees in him a future Yaya Touré, a young retired international player. In the Ivory Coast, they would very much like to entice the Monegasque player and build a “Bakayoko generation” around him. It must be said that the competition from the French team is equally fierce: Pogba, Kanté, Matuidi, Rabiot, Kondogbia, or even the future contenders such as Tolisso and Koziello. Champions of the African Cup of Nations in 2015, the Ivory Coast make it possible to win titles on an international level and to compete in the finals (currently at the top of their group for the World Cup 2018).

The young midfielder thus has a season to make his decision. “I’m not in a hurry,” he admits. Furthermore, based on our information, although the extension of his contract with AS Monaco seemed to be advancing until recently, the negotiations between the two parties are currently at a stalemate. The player is under contract until 2019.

Regardless, Bakayoko seems ready to take on the challenge of his next round of matches and certainly faces an exciting future no matter his final decision regarding selection.

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