Scout Report: Aurélien Tchouaméni


Aurélien Tchouaméni (#8) made his debut for Bordeaux in the 18/19 Ligue 1 season making 10 appearances in total for the first team & went to make a further 15 appearances in 19/20. After starting the season at Bordeaux, Tchouaméni became a January signing for Monaco in an estimated £16.2m transfer. Since he arrived in 2020, the #8 has appeared 76 times in all competitions for Monaco at the heart of the midfield. His performances for Monaco have seen Tchouaméni rewarded with International recognition making his debut September 1st, 2021 for France. Subsequently, Tchouaméni has gone on to make 7 caps for Les Bleus becoming a regular feature within the squad for France manager Didier Deschamps.

Over the past 2 seasons, Tchouaméni has become a mainstay in Monaco’s starting 11 & a regular feature of the French International team, where he has drawn admirers from the English Premier League. As part of the Monaco team, Tchouaméni plays a deep lying role providing defensive coverage & assured confidence in possession. Monaco has a highly versatile squad able to facilitate multiple tactical approaches & formations with the ability to do so in game. Largely, Tchouaméni plays on the left side of a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-3 or as the anchor point within a 4-3-3 or 4-1-4-1. Tactically Monaco are possession based favouring short sharp interchanges with progressive passing to probe the opposition in transition & adopt a patient build up developing out of defence. Out of possession, the team are quick to counter press the opposition in an attempt to force a turnover in possession through misplaced passes or interceptions. The positive defensive approach to engage quickly provides the likes of Tchouaméni the opportunity to tackle the opposition regularly. Whilst Monaco has struggled this season for consistency the #8 has performed to a high level in his role.

As per the heatmap (below), Tchouaméni provides a lateral screen for the defence marshalling the opposition by covering the central space. Although a defensive midfielder his role provides him with the freedom to support the attack from deep. This freedom utilises his intelligence off the ball to provide opportunities to position himself in the half spaces when receiving possession. Tchouaméni is perpetually moving within the central space which provides the attack a option from deep to recycle possession & continue to probe. Additionally, his movements in the central space provides Monaco the ability restart broken attacks collecting clearances or challenge for possession.

Heatmap via WyScout – Ligue 1 season 21/22

Defensive Contribution

Tchouaméni is a pivotal aspect of Monaco’s ability to stifle the opposition providing the foundation in midfield for the attack to press high in an attempt to retrieve possession quickly. His level of fitness is impressive, as per the heatmap it’s clear he is continually repositioning in the middle space effect play on & off the ball. The resulting lateral movements defensive ensures a robust screen in front of the defence who looks to engage the opposition regularly & decisively. This is evident in his desire to commit to a tackle in an attempt to regain possession with the #8 averaging 3.44per, 90 (FBRef data) with 1.88(FBRef data)tackles made (per, 90) in the middle 3rd of the field. Tchouaméni’s robustness in the tackle & desire to engage frequently can result in an above average return in fouls (1.44 per, 90 – WyScout Data), fortunately where he commits fouls are rarely in dangerous positions for the opposition to exploit via set pieces. Mentally, #8 shows a high level of concentration & discipline in his defensive duties resulting in above average metrics across the board (below). His performance defensively sees him measure highly against his contemporaries in central midfield with him registering metrics >80thpercentile (measured against centre midfielders in the Top 5 EU leagues with >800 minutes played) in 5 of 8 measures, but 7 of 8 above the average line. A particular strength is his ability to aerially utilise his strong positional sense, strength & athleticism especially when challenging for the high ball. Tchouaméni’s 6’2 frame is put to good using engaging in 3.65aerial duels per, 90 winning 63.38%. Therefore, placing the #8 in the 86th &91stpercentile ranges respectively, & ensuring his ability is a useful asset in either area at set pieces as well as in open play under a high ball.

Data via WyScout – Centre Midfielder comparison across Top 5 EU Leagues with >800 minutes played

To illustrate Tchouaméni’s impact defensively as per the above we can see that he is highly successful in defensive actions (10.43 per, 90 –80thpercentile), but also dominant in the duels he engages in. When we take a look deeper into his metrics as per the below, the #8 is comfortably performing above average. What is an impressive trait is his ability to break up oppositions hold of possession through interceptions. This is due to his awareness of space & positional sense which is heightened via his innate ability to continually scan the pitch to assess the state of play. Tchouaméni’s ability to intercept play puts him in the >80th percentile for centre midfielders in the Top 5 European Leagues. Comparatively, his stats place him 6th for interceptions (5.6 per, 90) & 4th (7.88 per, 90) for possession adjusting interceptions (Padj interceptions) against other Ligue 1 centre midfielders. What makes this all the more impressive is Monaco on average holding possession 10% more than that of the opposition who average 45%. Therefore, demonstrating effectiveness defensively to impact the opposition in their limited possession. His ability to read the game combined with his high quality decision making enables such a high rate of interceptions (combined rate of 13.48per, 90) as well as success in defensive duels.

Data via WyScout – Centre Midfielder comparison across Top 5 EU Leagues with >800 minutes played

This defensive awareness & reading the state of play on display regularly and in the example below demonstrates his ability to understand the developing situation & be proactive. Against RC Lens (below, Lens vs. Monaco – 30.01.2022), Tchouaméni drops into defence to cover a potential crossing opportunity for the attacking side. As the ball is retrieved in the channel, the #8 has positioned himself in the area in a left sided centre back position & scanning over his shoulder as well as ahead to picture the situation. With the ball at the feet of the RC Lens right back is consistently scanning the situation around him aware of the space differently in front of the defence. He is aware of the opposition attacker on his right shoulder spotting his movement towards the space & steps towards the open area. He demonstrates his quick reactions situation by accelerating into the space, reading the intentions of the forward leaving his marker. As the right back passes into the open space the #8 uses his strength as the players meet shoulder to shoulder easing away from the ball before strongly sliding into to clear the ball utilising his long legs to remove the danger.

Tchouaméni’s desire to protect the defence, to engage the opposition defensively not only provides standout metrics across the board but highlights his physical & mental prowess. An example of his robust tackling can be viewed below where Lens collect the ball just outside the Monaco final 3rd. The #8 is always alert monitoring the pitch creating a picture in his mind as to the state of play & observes both #10 (Ben Yedder), plus #11 (Diop) are being carried away from the ball with their momentum. The space in front of the defence poses a problem to which Tchouaméni anticipates where RC Lens midfield #8 (Fofana) is going to move. The resulting proactive movement from Tchouaméni takes advantage of the midfielder turning onto the ball before carrying into the space, allowing him to press aggressively. Through his quick decision to accelerate into the space anticipating the intentions of Lens #8, he can effectively challenge for possession. In the tackle, he is firm & fair utilising his body well to exert physical pressure to unbalance the attack whilst with a firmly outstretched leg stopping the ball from progressing further. His strength & force in the tackle not only regain possession but fundamentally remove the attacker from play momentarily with the challenge forcing them to the ground. The resulting outcome of winning possession provides Monaco with a threatening counter attacking possession as RC Lens have 7 players in advance of the ball. Unfortunately for Monaco, Diop makes a poor decision moving into Tchouaméni’s line & causes the ball to ricochet back against the #8 resulting in Lens regrouping before regaining possession.

The final example of Tchouaméni’s composure in defence & ability to control the duel can be found in the example below against Montpellier, 23.01.2022. At the restart, Monaco’s #8 provides space to encourage Montpellier to target the teammate free by the byline. Once Montpellier decides to throw into this area Tchouaméni reacts immediately to press & close down the space initially provided. The #8 makes contact with the attacker initially assessing if he can get in front to steal possession, but makes a split second decision to get touch tight behind. Through his decision to get touch tight he can control the attacker & limit his movements preventing the ability to turn. Whilst the attacker is trying to control possession & wriggle free Tchouaméni is tenacious challenging for the ball but take great care not to foul. The pressure he exerts forces the attacker to struggle to maintain his balance ultimately losing his footing as the #8 manages to win possession playing the ball off him for a turnover. Consistently as in these examples, he demonstrates good strength, timing & composure in the tackle providing a protective shield.

Possession Contribution

As part of a possession based system, Tchouaméni is required to be comfortable in possession, able to operate in tight situations & withstand the opposition press. The #8 meets the criteria for the role & exceeds across multiple performance metrics in possession. His technical ability ensures he has a wide range of passing to retain possession or to penetrate between the lines. In his anchor position. With his starting position being from deep he looks to link the defence to the midfield & connect with teammates to dictate the tempo. Possession for Monaco filters through the #8, who makes 58.8 passes per, 90 with his accuracy of 90.47% to ensure they can probe the opposition. His passing isn’t centred entirely around retaining possession as he looks to penetrate between the lines epitomised with his through passes attempts 1.7per, 90. Driving the team towards the opposition area is a trait that allows Tchouaméni to influence the attack from deep consistently with 8.43 progressive pass per, 90 & 10.02 passes into the final 3rd per, 90. Tchouaméni is also positive with the ball at his feet carrying possession to advance play (1.90 per, 90) demonstrating his tight ball control & strength. His carries whilst not significantly high against other Ligue 1 centre midfielders (ranked 24th), his success rate of 67.57% ranking him 8th in Ligue 1. Comparatively, his success rate places him in the>85thpercentile across the Top 5 EU League centre midfielders for carrying success. Should Tchouaméni role encompass more freedom to carry possession this could be an asset in breaking through the opposition from deep creating space as he draws in the press. As the below his deep lying possession restricts his ability to make progressive runs towards the final 3rd driving the attack into dangerous positions. However, his passing is above the average across the board which makes Tchouaméni a vital component of the Monaco attack.

The passing metrics are high for Tchouaméni with him performing in many cases well above the average against the Top 5 European League centre midfielders. His ability to achieve this level of consistency is impacted by his innate ability to understand space & picture the developing state of play. When we look at the below sequence (Nantes vs. Monaco, 09.01.2022) the #8 receives possession in the opposition half between the opposing centre forwards with time to assess his options & build a picture of the pitch. Where possible will look to circulate possession so that he can position himself in a more advantageous in a pocket off the ball, & reposition the opposite as the shift to track play. Once he has passed to a teammate he ensures that he continues to follow play across the field reviewing the space to provide an option should it be needed. After finding space between the forwards & midfield he establishes time to scan the pitch. With his comfort to withstand the press, he remains unphased by the opposition restricting the space. Tchouaméni when provided space in the opposition half will look to play the advanced pass to create threatening opportunities & break the defensive line. As within this attack, the #8 draws in the opposition to create greater space between the midfield & defence which then draws the Nantes centre back out of position to track the centre forward dropping into space. As play circulated out wide, Tchouaméni takes an intelligent position centrally so that he can observe the pitch & offer support infield. He once again continues to scan the field to ensure he can move the ball out of his feet quickly before switching play wide on the left to stretch the defence. Unfortunately, whilst Tchouaméni is orchestrating play repositioning the Nantes defence throughout the sequence the move breaks down when switched wide left as Nantes regroup & execute a 2v1 defensively.

Tchouaméni’s ability to find space & ability to play penetrative passes between the lines of the opposition is a useful asset particularly in the final 3rd of the pitch. As per the below, the #8 progresses play into the final 3rd with regularity with him ranked 6thfor passes into the final 3rd in Ligue 1 & in the 92nd percentile (across CMs in the Top 5 EU leagues). Whilst he is primarily a defensive enforcer in the centre of the pitch providing an outlet for the attack, he understands when to break from his role to provide support in the final 3rd. This is epitomised by his above average contribution in passes to the penalty area (2.21 per, 90) & deep completions (0.93 per, 90). These metrics place him in the >75th percentile across the Top 5 EU League centre midfielders, & ultimately providing Monaco with a creative outlet in attack. Whilst the rate of passes plus accuracy to & within the final 3rd area is above average his accuracy could improve to become a more consistent threat. With that being said Tchouaméni will play high risk passes in advantageous positions which can impact his accuracy.

Data via WyScout – Centre Midfielder comparison across Top 5 EU Leagues with >800 minutes played

The #8’s importance to support & reorientate the attack was evident against Montpellier (23.01.2022), where he supports from deep. With the ball received centrally, there are 2 banks of 4 in front of him with easy options to his right. He decides to switch to the far post trying to exploit that a Monaco attacker is in the right back’s blindspot positioned on his shoulder. Montpellier who are momentarily able to clear their lines but Monaco retrieve the loose ball & build the attack in the right channel via #7 (Gelson Martins). As the ball is played infield Tchouaméni holds a deep position to receive possession drawing the press from a Montpellier player before utilising Monaco’s right back free in by the byline. Montpellier remains strong defensively forcing Monaco to drop deep & recycle possession, ultimately playing once again into the feet of Tchouaméni. The #8 assesses the compact defensive shape of Montpellier & has the vision to ignore the easy option centrally in favour of an adventurous pass into the wide left channel to stretch the opposition to open up space for the Monaco attack. Once the pass is delivered into the left Tchouaméni remains active in play moving into space against the low defensive block by Montpellier where he receives possession. His ability to find space provides him consistently time in possession to scan the pitch & draw a picture as to the potential options to open up the opposition. His decision making is good & in the final play of the attack, he understands that whilst there are easy options these players are likely to be pressed by the defence leading to a counter. His decision is to play a pass into the penalty area with #7 which is cut out by Montpellier but demonstrates his positivity in possession to create openings for his teammates.

The sequence below is the perfect example of Tchouaméni’s ability across his mental, physical, technical & tactical attributes. As Montpellier break out from right hand channel, Tchouaméni is aware of his defensive responsibilities. He makes the decision not to press as aware of #36 (Matazo) tracking the progression & drops back to provide protection to the defence. Under pressure, Montpellier forces a pass into the path of #10 (Mavididi) which Tchouaméni anticipates & intercepts comfortably in the inside right channel. As he turns he has passing options in advance that he can play into but utilises his athleticism to turn & drive into space with possession. He intelligently whilst approaching the final 3rd reduces his pace to draw the opposition defender which opens space centrally for him to initiate a quick interchange running off the shoulder of the pressing defender into space. The movement in the interchange of passes results in the centre back breaking out from defence into midfield to press, but how left space for #10 (Ben Yedder) free between centre back & right back. Tchouaméni carries the ball to attract focus from the defence ensuring a wider distance between the centre back & right back. His awareness as to the threat of Monaco’s #10 leads to a perfectly weighted & delicate chip into the penalty area which the centre forward duly dispatches past the goalkeeper.


Within the English Premier League, Chelsea & Manchester United are both interested in finding a deep lying centre midfielder or defensive midfield player. Tchouaméni meets the profile of the clubs in terms of ability & style of play, as he is more than a disruptor in midfield. There has also been interest shown by both clubs in the dynamic #8 who are looking to increase their options. When we look to compare Tchouaméni he measures very strongly against both Jorginho of Chelsea & Fred of Manchester United. In either team, it’s highly important for the player to retain possession whilst also being an orchestrator linking defence to midfield & midfield to attack. In possession, Tchouaméni is very strong in possession which would be of benefit to Manchester United when compared to Fred’s ability to not only retain possession but also to positively influence play. His ability to influence play in attack is positively for Manchester United would come from the potential uplift in an additional 2.14 per, 90  (10.02 > 7.88) & 1.39 per, 90 (2.21 > 0.82) passes into the final 3rd & passes into the penalty area. The other added benefit would be in his progressive passing which again would see an uplift against Fred of 1.14 per, 90 (8.43 > 7.29). Conversely, Tchouameéni & Jorginho map very closely across possession metrics other than when it comes to ball carries which is where the #8 performers strongly again both players in the comparison with him averaging 1.05 dribbles per, 90 more. His athleticism & technical ability with the ball at his feet would be a benefit to both teams as can carry possession from deep positions & create space drawing out the opposition.

Tactical Tchouaméni is flexible & comfortable in a double pivot or as the anchor point in a 3 with Chelsea utilising both variations, whereas Manchester United predominantly uses a double pivot. Within the midfield, the #8’s physique & athleticism ensures an extra combative element particularly in aerial duels engaging in on average 2.23 duels per, 90 more with a high success rate of 63.38%. This, in turn, provides an additional benefit at set pieces bringing a physical presence in both defending & attacking scenarios. His athleticism enables Tchouaméni to travel box to box with intelligent decision making as to when to commit to an attacking breaking from his position. This decision making ability places him in advantageous positions across the field to support both the defence & the attack consistently as can be seen in his defensive, possession & attacking metrics. 

Tactical Tchouaméni is flexible & comfortable in a double pivot or as the anchor point in a 3 with Chelsea utilising both variations, whereas Manchester United predominantly uses a double pivot. Within the midfield, the #8’s physique & athleticism ensures an extra combative element particularly in aerial duels engaging in on average 2.23 duels per, 90 more with a high success rate of 63.38%. This, in turn, provides an additional benefit at set pieces bringing a physical presence in both defending & attacking scenarios. His athleticism enables Tchouaméni to travel box to box with intelligent decision making as to when to commit to an attacking breaking from his position. This decision making ability places him in advantageous positions across the field to support both the defence & the attack consistently as can be seen in his defensive, possession & attacking metrics.

Both Manchester United & Chelsea have players entering their peak to experienced years with the need to add longer term options to strengthen their squads. Tchouamén’si style is suited to both teams as they look to dominate possession regularly & probe the opposition. His physical attributes put him in good stead to cope with the demands of the English Premier League. With him entering into the final 2 years of his contract this may be the time in which to purchase the French international as Monaco look to profit now rather than risk a low fee if unable to secure an extension to his existing deal.

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