El Centrocampista

ONE TO WATCH – Yohan Mollo

By Heath Chesters

Ronaldo of the Rock… Cristiano of Monaco… Two nicknames French football fans and media have used to describe forward Yohan Mollo.

Born in Martigues, France, Mollo began his football apprenticeship with Marseille, where he spent eight years with their youth system, before moving to local side Aubagne FC for one year.

Towards the end of the 2006/2007 season he was offered a three year contract with Monaco.

The following season, Mollo earned great praise as the Monaco reserve team won the CFA professional title, with excited fans and media comparing his skills to Cristiano Ronaldo, then with Manchester United.

At 19 Mollo was promoted to the Monaco first team and handed the number 26 shirt for the 2008/2009 season.

During two seasons in the first team, he played 43 games, scoring 2 goals.

At the start of the 2010/2011 season, he was packed off to Caen on loan.

Mollo makes his Granada CF debut against Real Betis.

He made 35 appearances and scored 4 goals. Undoubtedly, his creativity made him a key player in the Caen side, helping them to
survive in Ligue 1, finishing in 15th place.

Ironically, his parent club Monaco finished 18th and were relegated to Ligue 2.

Surprisingly for a club based in one of the richest few square miles on the planet, facing increasing financial difficulty, Monaco were forced to sell and release players.

Amongst the vultures hovering for a bargain, was Granada CF president Quique Pina, who managed to sign the talented player for as little as €500,000.

A fantastic deal, considering that during the 2010/2011 season, reports in England suggested that (then) Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, had scouts closely monitoring his progress, with a view to a move at the end of the season.

During pre-season, Yohan Mollo has offered glimpses of the talent that have lead to his comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo.

He made his debut appearance as a substitute in the 0-1 defeat at home to Real Betis, but failed to make any real impact on the game.

Although early days with his new club, it will be interesting to see how well he adapts to Spanish football and his opportunity to impress, in what is regarded as one of the best leagues in the world.

Reports from France seemed to suggest that on his day, he can rightly be compared to some of the best players in the world for skill and ability, but there are some nagging doubts about his level of consistency.

With Granada CF he’ll mainly play as a right winger, though he can also play on the left wing or through the middle.

Comfortable with both feet, great pace and it’s clear that he has the talent and a rich bag of tricks when it comes to flair.

He’s also a very physical player, who’s not afraid to take the rough with the smooth.

Certainly a player to follow and just maybe… he’ll shed the “Cristiano” comparisons and make a strong name for himself in La Liga.

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