Analysis: Gifted Ben Seghir continues to flourish for AS Monaco
Eliesse Ben Seghir continued his impressive recent form for AS Monaco since stamping his mark on his Ligue 1 debut vs. Auxerre last month by putting in another upside-filled outing against Olympique de Marseille.
Given the nod from the outset again by Philippe Clement for AS Monaco’s colossal clash away at OM, the youngster repaid his manager’s faith, as he put in a quality shift from his central attacking post.
Handling the pressure on the big stage inside the intimidating atmosphere at the Stade Velodrome, he rose to the occasion admirably. Unquestionably one of Les Monegasques’ best performers in the 1-1 draw, much positivity could be extracted from his solid body of work.
While he executed his defensive duties effectively, as he pressed efficiently, was tenacious in the tackle and worked hard for his team on his way to covering nearly seven kilometres in the first half alone, there was no doubting his impact was most keenly felt going forward.
Such a wizard with the ball at his feet, the 17-year-old was a constant thorn in the side of OM, with his Velcro-like ball control, slick shimmies, ability to weave away from danger and electric changes of pace and direction ensuring he was a menace throughout his time afield.
Handling himself physically with his underrated strength, the youngster with a low of gravity and terrific balance did a superb job of holding the ball up with his back to goal while he waited for a viable option to arise despite being typically under immense duress.
Fleet of foot and fast of mind, the way his dribbling enabled him to not only gain separation from foes, but also draw multiple opponents and win fouls in dangerous areas further amplified his worth. Indeed, the fact he was the most fouled (3) player on the pitch further underlined his wizardry in this regard.
Meanwhile, when it came to passing, he did a tidy job of linking play with some shrewd combination play, hitting some measured through balls, getting the ball into the feet of his fellow attackers and switching the angle of attacks.
Tying everything together with his movement, and this aspect of his game was crucial towards his success too.
Choosing his moments wisely when to drop deep with his back to goal to link play, find room between the lines or embark on calculated runs in behind, Ben Seghir persistently kept his markers on their toes.
Offering a fantastic outlet to breathe life into counter attacks or more controlled, methodical build up, it was a joy to watch him influence proceedings. Knowing when to check towards the ball or move into depth, his reading of the play, knowledge of where teammates and opponents were located and appreciation of space were all standout features of his game.
The way he astutely interchanged with his colleagues to mix things up, pinned markers to generate space for others and opened passing lanes, plus was awake to teammates drawing out opponents, duly increased his danger as well.
So challenging to contain and to keep tabs on both with and without possession, this was another excellent effort from the gifted prospect, who was forever probing and trying to make things happen for his team.
Going from strength to strength all the time as he receives more crucial game time at the professional level, his emergence has been a huge positive for ASM this crusade.
Developing his game under the tutelage of Clement in the ultra competitive confines at Monaco and gaining vital experience with every passing week, the immensely exciting, skilful and unpredictable wonderkid certainly appears destined for great things.
“He confirms after his match against Auxerre, he is a young player with a lot of qualities and talent. He was good, but we have to give him time and not add pressure to him because he still has time ahead of him. But what has been going on is very good and he brings something positive to the team,” explained Axel Disasi.
The key thing moving forward will now be managing him wisely, keeping his feet on the ground and providing him with a framework for success, which is something Monaco have importantly proven to be masters at in the past.
On top of the world and with things trending in an upward trajectory, observing his progress will be unmissable in his quest to fulfil his enormous potential, which will certainly be easier said than done in today’s ferociously cut-throat game.