YOU always want to be on the good side of your manager.
But when French wonderkid Benoit Badiashile was just 19, he forgot his manners in front of former Monaco boss Thierry Henry, he was quickly reminded.
A lot has changed for the uncompromising centre-back – who has reportedly agreed terms with Chelsea, ahead of a blockbuster move to the Blues for a fee reported fee north of £35million.
But in December 2018, at a press conference ahead of Monaco’s must-win match against Borussia Dortmund in a Champions League tie – Badiashile was reprimanded for not putting his manager’s needs first.
Badiashile was sat alongside the Arsenal legend answering reporters’ questions, and when the pair finished they jumped up from their seats to leave the room.
However, poor Benoit forgot to tuck his chair in and Henry glared at him like a naughty schoolboy until the youngster returned to the table to correct his mistake.
Since then, Badiashile has risen through the ranks – impressing under Niko Kovac and most recently Philippe Clement to become one of the most sought-after defenders in world football.
BLOODED BY HENRY
Despite infuriating his ex-manager, Badiashile was bled into the team by Henry who quickly realised the towering defender’s qualities.
The 6ft 4in France under-21 international has gone on to play 135 times for the club since making his debut in the 2018-19 season.
And when Henry was fired from the Stade Louis II, experienced manager Leonardo Jardim continued to integrate the prodigy into his side – installing a greater defensive discipline into Badiashile, although his appearances were more limited.
And in reent seasons Badiashile has shone as manager have come and go.
BROTHERS IN ARMS
Born in France, and raised by Congolese parents – Badiashile dreamed of playing professional football.
But it was his elder goalkeeping brother who made the grade first.
Loic Badiashile, now 24, is also highly thought of at Monaco – and made his first team debut in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Fenerbache in 2016.
It ended in a disappointing 2-1 loss, and it seems that bad results on their debuts runs in the Badiashile family.
When Benoit was thrown into the side against PSG, the Red and Whites were taught a lesson.
He was helpless as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and former striker Edinson Cavani put Monaco to the sword, with the Uruguayan netting a hat-trick.
CONFIDENCE IN HIS ABILITY
It was a rude awakening for the teen sensation, but it didn’t destroy his confidence and he showed incredible mental strength to shrug that disappointment off.
That courageous spirit is just one of Badiashile’s many qualities tha caught the eye of Europe’s top club, including Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Man Utd
For his strong frame, his pace and ability to read the game and snuff out danger before it arrives is reminiscent of Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly,
A powerhouse at the back, he’s tough to get past, but as with most young defenders positionally he can drift away from his man.
That said, coaches for the French national team believe he’s the next big thing and have high hopes for Badiashile.
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He’s been capped at under-16 level – all the way through to the under-21’s for France – and has two caps at full level.
Benoit revealed that Manchester United DID bid for him in 2020, however he snubbed a £22million move. His time in the Premier League, though, is now set to come.
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk