Friday night’s big Ligue 1 game between Montpellier and Monaco was watched by Everton scouts, with their eyes reportedly focused on young striker Emmanuel Rivière. The 23 year old was making his 16th appearance for Monaco, joining Falcao as the clubs attacking threat.
While he may not have had his best game for the club this weekend, he always looked lively and threatening, and he has proven time and again this year that he can be a great alternative to the clubs big summer signings. He has notched 8 goals from 11 starts and 5 substitute appearances, which compares very favorably with his Columbian teammates record of 9 in 15 starts.
Some have commented that Monaco look a better team all round with Rivière at the forefront, and experiments with the two starting together have not really bared fruit for coach Claudio Ranieri. The Tinkerman took a chance on the youngster in the clubs first Ligue 1 game after promotion this year, throwing him on as a 72nd minute substitute.
With the scores level, and he took just 10 minutes to break the deadlock and help Monaco on it’s way to a 2-0 win over Bordeaux. Eight days later he outdid himself – notching a hattrick, the first of his professional career, against Montpellier.
Against the same opponents this weekend, Rivière looked sharp and worked harder to make thr runs and link the play than Falcao, and produced at least one great opportunity for himself – only failing at the last hurdle as he appeared torn between shooting and sliding the ball to his strike partner, and saw the ball roll agonizingly wide.
He is strong and quick off the mark, and possibly not too dissimilar to Kevin Miralles whom he once fought for a starting berth at Saint Etienne, in that he is comfortable coming in from wide but would certainly prefer a central role. He has been criticized in the past for being wasteful with chances, but he has improved this facet of his game this season and his work to create chances goes some way to improving his all round game.
Having only joined the club a year ago, it is unclear whether Monaco will be willing to offload the striker now – but with some hefty millions burning a hole in their pockets it may just be that the desire to strengthen is too much for the club, and Rivière could find himself watching games from the bench.
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