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Edan Diop: Everything you need to know about the AS Monaco youngster

While he’s still in the early stages of his professional career, there’s no doubting Edan Diop has what it takes to develop into a truly elite player.

Joining the club’s famed academy in 2019 after coming through the ranks at Tours and Chambray FC, it’s been a case of impressive progress for the gifted prospect.

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Having made waves in the Elite Group and come on leaps and bounds within the exceptional framework La Diagonale provides, he logically signed his first professional contract with Monaco in 2022.

It wasn’t long until he was deemed ready for the senior level, making his debut against Bayer Leverkusen on the 23rd of February (2023) in the Europa League under Philippe Clement’s management. “I felt a lot of pride and joy! It was a great reward for all the work done since I was five, the age when I started playing football. It remains engraved in my memory. I felt a lot of excitement,” he reflected on the Ligue 1 website.

“I arrived in the group around mid-February. Coach Philippe Clement called on me just before the Europa League second leg against Bayer Leverkusen. I came on at the hour mark and almost scored (his goal was disallowed). I could have been the hero of the evening! I also remember my first appearance in Ligue 1 Uber Eats against OGC Nice a few days later.”

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His aforementioned league debut was another key milestone, with this being a special moment due to it not only being a derby, but also as he played against his older brother, Sofiane. Showing his tactical versatility and adaptability by playing at right-back instead of in his preferred midfield spot, this was an occasion he’ll never forget even though ASM lost 0-3.

“I spoke with him, since he had only played in preparation with us this winter in this position on the right. I think he showed a lot of personality for a young player,” Clement insisted after this clash.

“His performance proves that he was not afraid. It’s positive, and like other young talents from the Academy, he represents the future of the club. It was a very good challenge for him, to gain even more experience in a European match.”

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His remarkable progress didn’t end there, however, for he proceeded to score his first goal not long after when he found the back of the net vs. Strasbourg. “I didn’t expect to score at all. I was a little shocked at the time. Following an opposing free kick in our camp, Golo went up the whole pitch before passing to me and I finished with a touch. It was a well-done action on the part of the whole team. Everyone was happy for me. I remember Wissam (Ben Yedder) came to congratulate me,” he recalled.

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Adjusting nicely to the intensity and pressure that comes with running out at the highest level, he ended the 2022/2023 campaign with eight appearances, with him crediting his time honing his craft in the Elite Group as crucial towards him handling the step up in class successfully.

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

“What helped me the most was the Academy’s Elite Group. As we face big European teams, especially during tournaments, it allows us to play matches with a lot of intensity and to be well prepared. Within this group, everything is done so that when you arrive at the pros, you are not overwhelmed. It really helped me. Afterwards, it plays out in your head. And technically too, you can’t make a mistake,” he explained.

Also flexing his muscles for the French Under 19s that crusade, where he was a regular on the scoresheet and established himself as an integral component, this served as another key point in his rise.

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Diop’s also full of praise for the help, advice and support he’s received from brother Sofiane, whose guidance has been extremely valuable in navigating all the twists and turns that come in the professional game.

“I am lucky to have my brother who has always been with me. He is there for me all the time. As he was also a young player, he experienced these things and he shares his experience with me. So, I take example and try not to repeat the mistakes he may have made,” he insightfully insisted.

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“In terms of professionalism, he knows how you can behave when you are a young player, so he gives me the maximum tools so that things go well for me. He talks to me about health, nutrition and sleep. For example, he always told me to avoid eating meals out, to pay attention to my nutrition and that I can’t do everything my friends outside of football can do.”

Providing each other, plus their little brother Noham, who recently joined Stade Rennais, with some extra motivation and eager for each other to enjoy success, having his sibling share the journey has been so beneficial in many ways.

Going on to make a further 12 appearances for Les Monegasques this season under Adi Hutter’s expert tutelage and graduating to the French U20 side, it’s been another term of strong advancement despite injuries forcing him to miss 10 matches and hindering his ability to truly stamp his mark.

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With ASM securing Champions League qualification by virtue of their outstanding second place Ligue 1 finish, there’s every chance he’ll obtain some more all-important first-team minutes given the heavy schedule they’ll be facing.

Alternatively, he could see a loan or move away as his best bet for regular action, which is so pivotal for any player wanting to make a name for themselves.

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

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Whatever happens, the technically gifted, intelligent, strong and athletic talent certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

The challenge now will be for the dedicated and hard working Diop to keep going from strength to strength in his search to fulfill his immense potential.

Already showcasing what a quality operator he is in his limited playing time and with huge scope for improvement, observing the journey he takes to the top will be intriguing to follow, with it set to be filled with success no matter what shape it takes on.

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