8 February 2019 - 17h14
Carlos Vinicius, Gelson Martins, Adrien Silva and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou, who have recently arrived in the Principality, were presented in the early afternoon.
On Sunday AS Monaco will travel to Montpellier, fifth in the championship, hoping to build on their 2-1 win over Toulouse on 2nd February. Among the players selected for this match, four were officially brought in on loan in the last days of the winter transfer window. They were introduced in the early afternoon, shortly after the press conference by their “new” coach, Leonardo Jardim. From the unknown Carlos Vinicius to the 2016 European champion Adrien Silva, as well as the nimble Gelson Martins and Georges-Kévin N’Koudou, all now have a common objective: to enable AS Monaco to maintain their Ligue 1 status at the end of the season. Here is a look at the new recruits.
Georges-Kévin N’Koudou, 23-year-old offensive midfielder (from Tottenham)
After having played for FC Nantes and Olympique de Marseille in Ligue 1, then discovered England and Tottenham, Georges-Kévin N’Koudou was loaned to Burnley, currently 17th in the Premier League. After a short loan, without ever breaking into the first team, the 23-year-old attacking midfielder made his return to the French elite. “His speed and explosiveness will be an additional strength for the team,” said Vadim Vasilyev, vice-president of the Principality’s club, in a statement. Trained in Nantes, Georges-Kévin Nkoudou does not hide his pleasure in making his comeback in the French league, and will have the opportunity to inject some fresh impetus to AS Monaco.
Carlos Vinicius, 23-year-old striker (from SSC Naples)
At 23 years old, this powerful forward showed his talent last season at Real Queluz (Portuguese D2), which led to his move to SSC Naples. But the Brazilian, who did not play any matches in the Italian league, played the first six months of the season in Portugal, near Rio Ave. Interested by Leonardo Jardim’s project, the sixth recruit from the Monegasque winter transfer window will be of considerable support for the rest of the season. Carlos Vinicius, who was officially appointed on 30th January, contributed to ASM’s first home win by making his debut in the 84th minute. The 1.9 meter tall centre-forward will be a real offensive asset in aerial play. “I am very happy to have the opportunity to play for Monaco,” he said in a statement.
Gelson Martins, 23-year-old right-winger, Portuguese international since 2016 (from Atletico Madrid)
Although only part of the Moncao squad for a few days, he has already proved to be decisive and indispensable. His power and exceptional speed caused the Toulouse team many problems and they could not prevent him from delivering a goal-making pass, his third for AS Monaco after those against Guingamp in the League Cup four days earlier. His instant adaptation appeals to ASM fans and echoes his good performances as the right winger for Sporting Lisbon. In 140 matches in the Leões’ shirt, Gelson Martins scored 27 goals. His dribbling and dazzling moves at that time are still the subject of multiple videos on YouTube. Atletico Madrid, aware of the Portuguese international’s talent (he played in the last World Cup with the Seleção), made him sign a five-year contract last July. After ten games and a goal in Spain, he is now back in Monaco for six months. And more, if affinities (option to buy valued at 30 million).
Adrien Silva, 29-year-old central midfielder, Portuguese international since 2014 (from Leicester City)
Leonardo Jardim knows him well, and that must have been a factor in his signing in exchange for Youri Tielemans, who has left to join Leicester City in the Premier League. Adrien Silva has already played for the Portuguese coach at Sporting Lisbon in the 2013/2014 season, where the native of Angoulême
was a key member of the squad. His experience at the highest level, culminating in a European Championship title with Portugal in 2016, should enable AS Monaco’s youngsters to go to a higher level. Above all, his association in midfield with Cesc Fabregas, who also arrived in the Principality this winter, will stabilise the team and give Monegasque strikers the opportunity to enjoy good service. “His mentality and reading of the game will help the team to achieve our goal,” said AS Monaco’s vice-president.
Camille Le Saux and Jérémie Bernigole
Photo © AS Monaco / Stéphane Senaux
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