EXCLUSIVE: An in-depth look at Monaco star who dreams of Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

AS Monaco’s left back Layvin Kurzawa this week revealed that Manchester United were his dream club in a move that has opened up the possibility of him moving to Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic season with Monaco but unless you have watched a lot of the French league this year, you won’t know much about Kurzawa.

In light of that, The Peoples Person has sat down with Yann Saoudé, a French journalist and Monaco fan, to find out some more information on Kurzawa.

Can you introduce yourself to the readers please?

My name is Yann Soudé and I am a journalist working for Le Point and L’Equipe in Paris. I’ve been living in the capital city for a few months and I also contribute to a few websites about Monaco (AS Monaco Fan and Planète-ASM).

How has Layvin Kurzawa played this season for AS Monaco?

There’s no doubt this is his very best season. Unlike last season, he’s got Ranieri’s trust and always starts the games. Last year, he was Georgios Tzavellas’ substitute and he couldn’t really showcase his talent. But now, that’s different. He’s still got a lot of things to learn, especially as far as his defensive game is concerned, but he’s strong and very skilled. Moreover, he has already scored five times, delivered three assists and received only two yellow cards.

Are you frustrated that he has said these comments about Manchester United being his dream club?

I can’t really say I’m frustrated. Not a lot of players consider Monaco as their ‘dream club’. Actually, it doesn’t mean he will leave the team in the next few months or years, and especially for United. I have a lot of respect for this club but Monaco is on its way to the Champions League while United is struggling to be at the top of its own Premier League. He will probably get some offers at the end of the season but I think it’s too early for him to leave.

Do you think he has the potential to go on to be as good as Patrice Evra?

I think he has the potential to go on to be better than Evra ! I’m not telling you that because I’m a fan of Monaco but I’m even pretty sure he can become the best left-back in the world. It will take a few years, of course, but that’s also the point of view of many observers in France. At this very moment, Deschamps seems to prefer Lucas Digne from Paris St Germain even though he hasn’t played much this season. I don’t think Kurzawa will go to Brazil but he deserves to.

What are his greatest strengths/weaknesses?

As I told you before, Kurzawa has many strengths. He’s very skilled, strong and fast. He used to play as a striker when he was younger which is certainly an explanation for those characteristics. Progress still needs to be made as far as defence is concerned but he’s improved a lot this season.

Abidal took him as his ‘protege’, as a brother, and gave him a lot of advice. He used to be weak in his head though. Last year, he realised that he couldn’t go on without changing his way of living and Ranieri helped him. In September 2013, Kurzawa said: “I used to go to night clubs, coming home in the early morning, sleeping just a few hours and then go to training. I used to eat anything and not behave as a professional.” Now, he has changed.

How important has he been to Monaco this season?

He’s really a key player. I wouldn’t say as essential as Toulalan or Rodriguez are but he’s close to those two. His goals and assists helped Monaco win points, especially away from home. He’s a fighter and never gives up – against Lorient, he tied the game (2-2) right at the very end and scored the winning goal against Reims (3-2) in additional time.

Do you want Patrice Evra to re-join Monaco in the summer?

No, I don’t. I really think he’s not the player he used to be and Monaco doesn’t need a guy like him. I admire what he did for the team, especially in 2004 when it went to the Champions League final against Porto but he’s not as good as before.

Moreover, I hate his mentality. He was one of the leaders of the ridiculous rebellion in South Africa (World Cup, 2010) and the interview he recently gave to TF1 in France won’t help him. That was just unexpected and unbearable. Please Patrice, stay where you are!

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