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Maghnes Akliouche: Everything you need to know about the AS Monaco playmaker

Coming on in leaps and bounds this season, the way Maghnes Akliouche has truly stamped his mark for AS Monaco has been a joy to watch.

Journey through the ranks

Having come through Les Monegasques’ famed academy, which he joined in 2017 from US Torcy, the technically gifted playmaker, who excels out wide and centrally, has made exceptional progress.

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Despite coming into focus later than many of his fellow Monaco youngsters, this has allowed the Paris-born prodigy to steadily rise to prominence.

Star on the rise

While he made his full professional debut back in 2021 against Olympique Lyonnais under the tutelage of Niko Kovac, his first start against Amiens in the Coupe de France quarter-final in February of 2022 was the moment he truly announced himself. 

Vindicating Philippe Clement’s decision to play him from the outset, not only did he grab an assist, but he also produced a fantastic showing from his left wing post that featured many glimpses of his dribbling wizardry, creative passing and intelligent movement.

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“First of all, it’s not a favour that I granted him by starting him,” Clement stated in his post-match comments. “He shows great things in each training session, he demonstrates his qualities and it was therefore normal that he had this opportunity to play. But he had to be launched in the right circumstances, tonight was one and he answered the call.”

Gaining crucial confidence and comfort at the elite level in his nine appearances before sparkling for a triumphant France U20s at the Maurice Revello Tournament, Akliouche then carried his momentum into the 2022/2023 campaign.

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Continuing to prove his worth for Les Rouge et Blanc, there was much to admire about his output during a season that saw him feature on 13 occasions, which notably included him making his Europa League bow.

Signing a new contract in May of last year, this served as a further testament to how happy the club was with him and what a bright future they believed he’s in store for.

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“Maghnes is a talented young player who is in a phase of development and who AS Monaco is counting on. As a club, we are obviously pleased to see that players who have been trained at the Academy and turned professional have the desire to progress here, surrounded by experienced players. It’s up to Maghnes to take advantage of this favourable environment to continue his evolution and help the club achieve its objectives,” explained then sporting director Paul Mitchell.

Aklioiche then added: “Extending my adventure with my training club is a point of great satisfaction. It has been six years since I joined AS Monaco and the club has given me the opportunity to grow and progress step by step. I will be keen to continue my learning process within a talented and experienced squad like ours and to be there to help the team when the coach calls on me.”

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Season to remember

Going from strength to strength this term under the expert tutelage of Adi Hutter, who replaced Clement in the summer, working under the Austrian tactician has really elevated his impact.

Proving over the years that he’s extremely proficient at improving young prospects, this has certainly been the case for Akliouche too since playing for Hutter.

Related Reading: Adi Hutter: Everything you need to know about the AS Monaco manager

Happy to place his trust in the tactically versatile attacking midfield ace, the 22-year-old’s relished his opportunities and repaid the faith of his experienced manager.

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Taking his chance with both hands, opponents have regularly been bamboozled by the uniquely skilled maestro, as he’s established himself as an integral component of Hutter’s side despite the heavy competition for places in ASM’s offensive ranks.

Multifaceted attacking weapon

A major driving force with his electric ball carrying, elite first touch, wicked array of manoeuvres to outfox adversaries and ability to adjust his receiving shape to avoid markers, this has ensured he’s shone.

So resistant to pressure and keeping calm to execute his actions, how he weaves away from danger coherently and effortlessly glides up the pitch has compounded issues for opponents.

Boasting terrific vision and a keen eye for a pass, his ability to create chances and breathe life into attacks has seen him increase his team’s threat going forward. Be it hitting measured through balls in behind, striking piercing line breaking passes, engaging in intricate combination play, smartly switching the play or supplying nifty crosses and cutbacks, he’s got a fine arsenal of ways to impact proceedings.

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Impressing with his finishing as well, where he’s blended power, placement and finesse, this has been another important string to his bow. Interestingly, as per the Ligue 1 website, Akliouche recently became the fourth player born in 2002 or later to hit six goals in Ligue 1 this season.

Such an effective space finder to boot, watching him astutely exploit gaps in opposition structures has certainly caught the eye. Especially brilliant at finding room in between the lines and in the half spaces to connect passages, foes have endured a torrid time keeping tabs on him. It also warrants mention how he mixes things up by dropping deeper to form numerical and positional superiorities, rotates with colleagues and embarks on some damaging runs into the final third.

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For the man who bagged eight goals and four assists across his 31 appearances in all competitions, it’s been a season littered with upside.

“I’m delighted with his development. He’s having a fantastic season as a young player. We mustn’t forget that this is only his second season in Ligue 1. As soon as I arrived, I saw his talent straight away. Perhaps before, he lacked aggression in duels and wasn’t decisive enough. Today, I’m delighted with his performances,” Hutter asserted.

Thierry Henry impressed

Akliouche’s game-changing talents haven’t solely been on show for ASM, for he’s also grown into a key figure for the French U21 side that’s coached by Thierry Henry.

Indeed, when recently speaking to TNT Sports, it was fascinating to hear how much he’s learning from the legendary former star in many aspects of the game. “Both on and off the pitch, he gives me a lot of advice,” Akliouche stated. 

“Thanks to his experience as a player and coach, his words are gold. You have to pay attention to them. When he says something to you, you pay attention because he never says just anything. He’s also aware that young players need more attention and advice, so he helps us a lot. It’s important to have that help.”

With him selected for Henry’s squad for the upcoming Olympics on home soil, this is another exciting opportunity he has to look forward to.

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Bright future

Racking up the milestones and empathically illustrating he belongs at the highest level, there certainly appears to be no signs of him slowing down on his pathway to stardom.

One of many marvellous prospects to come through the club’s prestigious youth ranks, on a distinctly upward trajectory and with his best years ahead of him, it’ll be intriguing seeing what the future holds for the outstanding Akliouche, who appears destined to become a household name sooner rather than later.

Exciting times most definitely await the tremendously gifted Akliouche.