Following the arrival of Benoit Badiashile from AS Monaco, we take a comprehensive look back at the 21-year-old defender's career to date...
Having grown up in the picturesque city of Limoges and signed for his hometown club aged eight, Badiashile spent much of his early career at lower-league side SC Malesherbes. It was from there that he joined Monaco as a 15-year-old with a growing reputation as a composed, left-footed centre-back at ease with the ball at his feet.
He made his initial breakthrough with the ‘B’ team in the Championnat National 2, the French fourth tier, and watched at close quarters as Monaco secured a stunning Ligue 1 title and reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2016/17.
Splitting his time between representing Monaco’s second team in the league and their Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League, Badiashile caught the eye at the end of 2017/18 and start of 2018/19, with his performances at those levels launching a rapid rise in the second of those campaigns.
He was handed his debut by Thierry Henry up against Thiago Silva’s Paris Saint-Germain in November 2018 at the age of 17 and instantly became an important member of their team, starting all but six of Monaco’s remaining 31 matches in all competitions that season.
Nowhere was the speed with which he made the step up to first-team football more apparent than in Europe, where he started the group stage captaining the Under-19s in the Youth League before starting the senior side’s last two Champions League group games against Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
With Ligue 1 and Champions League debuts under his belt, the defender made a total of 25 appearances in his first season of senior football as Monaco fought an unlikely battle for top-flight survival, scoring his first goal with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to Nice.
After helping France reach the semi-finals of the European Under-19 Championship, Badiashile embarked on his first full campaign of senior football as part of an improving Monaco side in 2019/20. Although the season was curtailed early due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the principality side in mid-table, he managed 20 appearances in all competitions.
He made a flying start to the 2020/21 season when French football resumed, though, scoring in both of Monaco’s opening two Ligue 1 fixtures, getting the equaliser as they came back from two goals down against Reims before firing in the only goal of a win at Metz.
He featured in all but three of Monaco’s league games as they rose up the table to finish in third place, just five points behind champions Lille, in addition to four more appearances in their Coupe de France run, including in the 2-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the final.
Despite being just 20 years old, Badiashile had unquestionably become a key figure in the Monaco side by the start of last season, playing 34 games despite missing the best part of three months due to a hamstring injury and Covid. He scored his only goal of 2021/22 in a 2-2 draw with Lens on the final day as they secured a second consecutive top-three finish.
He continued his impressive form into the current campaign, resulting in him being handed a senior international debut by France manager Didier Deschamps, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 win over Austria in Paris in the UEFA Nations League before adding a second cap against Denmark three days later.