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Analysis: Gifted keeper Philipp Kohn primed to shine at AS Monaco

AS Monaco’s signing of Philipp Kohn is littered with upside, for the talented goalkeeper arrives ready to impact from the off and hit the ground running.

Having especially established himself as a brilliant net custodian in the previous two seasons, where he kept 30 clean sheets in his last 60 Austrian Bundesliga games for RB Salzburg on his way to helping them win consecutive league titles, Kohn’s excited and primed for the challenge ahead.

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“I am really grateful to everyone in Salzburg for the great time and the wonderful experiences that I have been able to gain over the years here. I have enjoyed so many positive things in football and in many other areas, which has helped me to develop. I therefore have to say a huge thank you to everyone as I leave,” insisted last year’s Austrian Bundesliga keeper of the year.

The kind words of RB Salzburg Sporting director Christoph Freund on his departure then illustrated how highly Kohn was regarded both as a player and a person.

“Philipp has developed superbly in his four years in total with us, and after the somewhat unusual but important spell in the Swiss second division he really found his feet. His extremely strong performances in the past two years have earnt him attention from a lot of clubs around Europe, and it is ultimately not a surprise that he is leaving us,” he explained.

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“I am really pleased that Philipp is now moving to a top club in a great league, and we wish him all the very best for his future in football.”

Joining on a five-year-deal, the man who’s also spent time with Schalke 04, VfB Stuttgart, RB Leipzig, FC Liefering and FC Wil has his sights set on immediately cementing himself as Adi Hutter’s number one.

Indeed, with Alexander Nubel’s loan with Les Monegasques now at an end, Kohn will back himself to step up and fill the void left by the German.

A Swiss international, who was in their 2022 World Cup squad, and possessing plenty of European experience that includes 16 Champions League appearances, this adds to what a smart acquisition the German born netminder is.

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While it’ll inherently take some time for him to settle into his new surroundings, the fact he’s colleagues with Breel Embolo at international level and knows Mohamed Camara from their time together at Salzburg should help speed up his adaptation. Seeing as Adi Hutter used to coach at Salzburg and Takumi Minamino previously played there, these extra connections to the Austrian giants will also be beneficial in his integration process.

Athletic, with razor sharp reflexes and a powerful mover in all directions, his shot-stopping prowess will really catch the eye. In addition, his handy positioning, sharp concentration, ability to rush off his line to stop chances and how he closes off shooting angles are all key strings to his bow.

Getting out to close the distance and make a wicked stop
Explosively getting down and across
Powerfully getting across to save the penalty superbly
Outstanding diving stop

Never afraid to put his body on the line when dealing with crosses or any demanding situations, his attitude and mindset not only helps stop promising openings, but also inspires others around him.

Polished with the ball at his feet, capable of hitting targets over a range of distances and confident at building out from the back under duress, this part of his armoury should be ideal to assist in bringing Hutter’s philosophy to life.

Perfect pass to beat the press
Superb long range pass

By the numbers in the Austrian Bundesliga, he ranked first for goals conceded per 90 (0.61), first for total prevented goals (5.1), second for prevented goals p90 (0.15) and fifth for leaving his line (45), which served as a further testament to his class.

Moreover, when comparing his data from Wyscout with Nubel’s from last season, it’s impressive how Kohn held the ascendancy in a range of metrics including save percentage rate, total prevented goals, prevented goals p90, accurate long balls, clean sheets, clean exits p90, aerial duels p90, successful defensive actions p90, interceptions p90, passes to the final third p90, progressive passes p90 and progressive pass accuracy.

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Kohn vs. Nubel keeping comparison
Kohn vs. Nubel defensive comparison
Kohn vs. Nubel passing comparison

Entering the peak of his powers with his best years ahead of him, the capture of Kohn, who has also reportedly been tracked by Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen in the past, unquestionably ticks many boxes.

Arriving with some quality credentials, the mentality to overcome adversity to succeed and hungry to prove himself in one of Europe’s top five leagues, all the indications are encouraging that Kohn will be a major asset to Monaco for many years to come.