Mbappe and Giroud have grabbed most of the headlines for France throughout the tournament. Mbappe has extended his World Cup goal count to 9 at the age of just 23. Giroud has stepped up to the plate in the absence of Benzema and become France’s all-time top scorer. However, Aurelien Tchouameni has been a key cog in the French midfield.
Filling the void…
Tchouameni has been tasked by filling the void left by Paul Pogba. The Real Madrid midfielder has made 11 starts in the league this season. He has managed to shoehorn his way into a midfield that is stacked with quality for both club and country.
Aurelien is adept at playing as both a number 6 and a number 8. He has featured alongside Rabiot and Fofana in this tournament and has been a key part of the stability of the France midfield. Tchouameni has a great passing range and his defensive awareness allows him to break up opposition attacks.
World Cup so far…
Throughout this tournament, he has an average WhoScored rating of 7.09 throughout the tournament and has contributed in both the attacking and defensive phase.
Tchouameni has dictated the play for his country. He looks to get on the ball whenever possible and has drifted around the field to create passing lanes for his teammates. He is averaging 66.3 passes per game in this tournament despite being substituted on a couple of occasions. When receiving the ball, his first thought is always to pass forward. His defence splitting passes from deep are one of the things that enticed Real Madrid to pay a hefty fee for the midfielder. He has a 93.2% pass completion rate in Qatar.
He is yet to register an assist in this tournament, with much of his work being done deeper in field. However, he has been pivotal in creating chances for his teammates who are positioned further up the field. Tchouameni likes to use his physical prowess to hold on to the ball and draw opponents towards him. This leaves more space for the likes of Griezmann and Mbappe who are closer to the opposition goal.
Aurelien also makes a significant defensive contribution for Les Bleus. Pogba isn’t the only big name absentee for France, Kante is also missing in Qatar. Kante puts a big defensive shift in for whoever he plays for. The Chelsea man’s tackle numbers are much lauded and Tchouameni has put in a big defensive shift of his own.
Tchouameni is averaging 1.7 tackles per game this tournament. He averages 2.3 tackles per game for Real Madrid in La Liga this season. He reads the game extremely well and always looks for the optimum time to stick a foot in.
His physical attributes also serve him well defensively. Tchouameni has great pace that allows him to close the gap between himself and opposition attackers quickly. He is an exceptional reader of the game and this allows him to break up opposition attacks with key interceptions.
The Madrid man is also not afraid of committing a foul. He is averaging 1 foul per game in this tournament but has picked up just the 1 yellow card.
He’s not just a force defensively. Tchouameni’s tournament highlight came against England, which was arguably their toughest match on paper. The midfielder drove forward and found the net with a powerful effort from distance. He drifted forward as France won the ball and mounted a counter attack. Aurelien found a pocket of space on the edge of the area and slotted the ball into the bottom corner from around 23 yards out.
Tchouameni has averaged 1 shot per game in this World Cup. The Argentines will have to be aware of the threat he poses on Sunday. He is priced at 3.75 for a shot on target in the final.
World Cup Final…
France will look to restrict the space that Messi has to operate in. Tchouameni’s tireless legs in midfield will be key in ensuring there is very little space between the French defensive line and midfield.
The midfielder’s pace and ability to defend one-on-one make him the ideal candidate to pick up Messi when he enters that area of the pitch. Messi has an uncanny ability to wriggle through tight spaces but Tchouameni’s long legs should help him get a foot in when it appears the seven-time Balon d’Or winner is sprinting past him.
He can also contribute in the attacking phase. Argentina have restricted their opponents well in this tournament. They have 3 clean sheets so far and Scaloni will no doubt have a plan to deal with the threat of Mbappe and Co. Tchouameni arriving from deep as he did in the England game could be the factor that means the Argentina gameplan comes unstuck. Expect the Madrid man to have at least one effort on goal this Sunday.
Our French World Cup expert has picked out the following value bet 👇🏼
18+ please gamble responsibly. All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing.