Scouting AS Monaco’s academy – data analysis
AS Monaco have been valuing young players more and more in the last years, proof of that is the number of minutes that young players are getting in the team, but also the success players that graduate from their academy have in top-flight football. Monaco’s academy has produced some amazing talents over the years, the likes of Thierry Henry, Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappé, to name a few, are some examples of graduates that achieved great things and played or still play in big teams like FC Barcelona, PSG and Atlético Madrid.
In this data analysis we will use data and statistics to find the best talents currently in AS Monaco’s academy that could potentially take the step up, earn a place in the first-team, and play Ligue 1 football.
In order to make this analysis we need to establish our data pool . Because AS Monaco II is the only youth team that has data available on Wyscout for the 2019/2020 season, our choice inevitably falls on the players on that team but with some specifications.
AS Monaco II play in National 2 and, because the league is not widely covered, the data available has its limitations. In order to make our analysis, and having those limitations in mind, we will only highlight players who have played at least 450 minutes this season to make our analysis a more realistic one.
After analysing all the players we will compile a shortlist with the best talents.
Starting with the defensive statistics, we created a scatter plot that shows us aerial duels won% and defensive duels won% on each axis. The size of the dots was set to display the amount of PAdj interceptions per 90 giving us a view of the most important defensive metrics.
Looking at the upper right quadrant we can see the players that are above average on both metrics displayed on the axes. Chrislain Matsima is the first name that stands out on both metrics. The frenchman wins 79.17% of his defensive duels and 58.06% of his aerial duels, when it comes to PAdj interceptions per 90 he also ranks high with 5.32. Safwan Mbaé ranks third in terms of aerial duels won, and second in terms of defensive duels won, with win rates of 53.33% and 78.18% respectively. In terms of PAdj interceptions per 90 he ranks first in the team with 7.120. The last player above average on both metrics is Jordy Gaspar, however, he moved to Grenoble Foot 38 at the end of the season and, for that reason will not be taken into account. Another player displaying good values are Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda who wins 69.64% of his defensive duels, 33.33% of his aerial duels, and averages 3.52 PAdj interceptions per 90. Lastly, Yannis N’Gakoutou also impresses in his defensive duels win rate (75.27%) and in his PAdj interceptions per 90 number (5.79) but displays a low 29.41% win rate when it comes to aerial duels.
Passing and ball progression
In this section we will take a look at the best passers in the team, the players that are able to circulate the ball and do it well. We will also take a look at the players that are the best at progressing the ball up the field through passing or carrying.
The name that immediately stands out in this first scatter plot that addresses passing metrics is one already known from the defensive sections: Safwan Mbaé. The centre-back ranks first in passes per 90 (65.97) and also displays great passing accuracy (87.80%). Next to each other and with similar profiles we have another familiar face in Chrislain Matsima and also Florian Antognelli that doesn’t have his name on the graphic. Matsima 59.19 passes per 90 with a 92.26% completion rate and Antognelli averages 58.07 passes per 90 with a 91.99% completion rate. Another familiar face that appears in the right upper quadrant in this scatter plot and is therefore above average on both metrics is Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda. N’Guinda averages 46.70 passes per 90 with a good 80.70% completion rate.
The next scatter plot shows us the player’s the ball progression capabilities.
Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda and Yannis N’Gakoutou stand out once again, the two full-backs are the players with the most progressive actions per 90. N’Guinda averages 9.71 progressive passes per 90 and 2.81 progressive runs per 90 while N’Gakoutou averages 9.18 progressive passes per 90 and 3.33 progressive runs per 90, ranking first in this metric. Yoann Etienne is the third player that stands above average on both metrics. Also a full-back, he averages a good 9.42 progressive passes per 90 and a not so high 1.59 progressive runs per 90. Lastly, Safwan Mbaé appears once again with impressive numbers, the centre-back ranks first in progressive passes per 90 with 13.07 and averages 1.34 progressive runs per 90.
Chance Creation and creativity
Moving to more offensive statistics, we will now take a look at the player’s chance creation abilities and creativity. For this next scatter plot we created the metrics “Dangerous passes per 90”, by adding passes to the final third per 90, deep completions per 90 and passes to the penalty area per 90, and “Chance creation contribution per 90” by adding third assists per 90, second assists per 90, assists per 90 and key passes per 90. An analysis of these metrics will give us a good view of the player’s contribution to creating chances.
Looking first at players that already stood out in other sections, Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda tops both metrics with 11.47 dangerous passes per 90 and a chance creation contribution per 90 of 0.82. Yannis N’Gakoutou and Yoann Etienne, the other two familiar full-backs, also display impressive numbers. N’Gakoutou averages 10.5 dangerous passes per 90 and contributes to the creation of 0.5 chances per 90, in a similar fashion, Yoann Etienne averages 10.66 dangerous passes per 90 and contributes to the creation of 0.62 chances per 90. The last recurring name is Safwan Mbaé who stands out once again in the passing department, the centre-back averages 10.39 dangerous passes per 90 which is a very high number for his position, on the contrary, his chance creation contribution per 90 is only 0.06. Enzo Millot is another player that displays very good numbers in the analysed metrics. The French attacking midfielder averages 7.43 dangerous passes per 90 and contributes to the creation of 0.69 chances per 90, ranking second in this metric. Lastly, Nordine Ibouroi also appears above average on both metrics with a chance creation contribution per 90 of 0.49 and averaging 7.38 dangerous passes per 90.
In this final section, its time to take a look at the goal contribution each player has made for the team, in order to do so, we created the metrics “Goal contribution per 90” by adding goals per 90 and assists per90 and, “xG contribution per 90” by adding xGoals and xAssists per 90.
The clear winner in this scatter plot is Eric Ayiah. The striker didn’t stand out in any other aspect, however, his goal contribution per 90 of 0.54 clearly surpasses his xG contribution of 0.32. Next to him in terms of goal contribution per 90 comes Enzo Millot with 0.49 also surpassing his xG contribution per 90 of 0.25 and by a bigger margin than Ayiah.The full-back trio of Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda, Yannis N’Gakoutou, and Yoann Etienne are all above average when it comes to goal contribution per 90. N’Gakoutou has the lowest values on both metrics with a goal contribution per 90 of 0.2 and a really low xG contribution per 90 of 0.09, Yoann Etienne ranks first in goal contribution per 90 between the three with 0.25 and comes in with the second lowest value of xG contribution per 90 with 0.15. The last of the group, N’Guinda displays similar numbers to the previous two with a goal contribution per 90 value of 0.23 and a xG contribution per 90 value of 0.17. To finish off this section, Owen Mäes is the last player that is above average on both metrics, the winger averaged 0.28 goal contribution per 90 and 0.29 xG contributions per 90.
Safwan Mbaé is a 23 year-old centre-back from Comoros. During our data analysis, he stood out in the defensive metrics and in the passing metrics. He showed very good numbers in terms of passing and progressing the ball proving he is a defender capable of building the play for his team while also providing solidity at the back. Check his percentile ranks chart below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.
- Aerial duels
- Ball progression
Pierre-Daniel N’Guinda is a 24 year-old right back from Cameroon. Already at a more advanced age than his teammates, N’Guinda is at a crucial point in his career in terms of taking the step up to the first team. The right-back showed decent defensive numbers, but his ability to create chances through passing and crossing and provide attacking support was the area where he really shined in our analysis. Check his percentile ranks char below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.
- Ball progression
- Chance creation
Yoann Etienne is a 23-year-old French left-back that can also play further up the pitch as a left midfielder. In a similar fashion to N’Guinda, but with better defensive numbers, Etienne stood out in the creativity and passing sections, and showed great contribution to the teams’s goals, showing great indicators for an offensive full-back/wing-back. Check his percentile ranks chart below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.
- Ball progression
- Chance creation
Yannis N’Gakoutou is a 21 year-old French right-back. Again, with a similar profile to the other full-backs in the shortlist, N’Gakoutou shows impressive numbers in the attacking side of the game, however, his defensive numbers are the best between the three with aerial duels being his only visible weakness. Check his percentile ranks char below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.
- Ball progression
- Chance creation
Enzo Millot is a 18 year-old French attacking midfielder that can also operate as a central midfielder. Already a French U17 international, he seems like the most promising player of the list. During our analysis he stood out in his creativity and chance creation, as well as in the goal contribution for the team. His high numbers in terms of dangerous passes and crosses show that he is a player able to provide the final pass, and his goal contribution shows that many of those end up in goal. Check his percentile ranks char below to see what other metrics he ranks well in.
- Goal scoring
- Chance creation
This data analysis allowed us to identify some talents from AS Monaco’s academy that had significant contribute for Monaco’s second team this season. All players in the final shortlist seem ready to take the step up, at least that is what their statistical profiles tell. Although data doesn’t give us a complete view of the player’s quality and needs to be complemented with gameplay analysis, it can be a very good indicator to identify strengths and weaknesses of a player as well as some aspects of his style of play.
AS Monaco have a few prospects on their academy that could potentially take the step up and maybe help the first team, however, some of them are in a crucial age to prove they have what it takes to make it in a higher level. I’m putting these five players on my “ones to watch” list to see if they are able to establish themselves in first division football and my suggestion for anyone interested in young talents is that you do the same.