The Monaco academy has done it again.
Kylian Mbappe, Yannick Carrasco and Abdou Diallo are three of many stars to come out of Monaco’s youth setup, and next up could be midfielder Romain Faivre, who joined Brest in the summer and has now attracted interest from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Frenchman, as he does the rounds in the Man Utd transfer news columns.
Faivre was called up to the Monaco senior squad under Leonardo Jardim when he was 19 years old, but it wasn’t until Thierry Henry joined the club that the Frenchman was given the chance to strut his stuff.
Henry through him in at the deep end and gave him his four senior appearances, three of which ended in victory, but Henry’s departure in 2019 saw Faivre returned to the reserves.
Faivre told Brest’s official website that it was ‘under Henry’s orders’ that he was brought into the first-team fold, and he may well have retained his spot in the team if Henry had not been dismissed.
Monaco let Faivre go for a little under £400,000 in 2020, and it’s already thought that Brest are bracing themselves for an immense profit.
According to Le Telegramme, Brest see him as closer to a £14m player these days, and that’s only after six months at the club.
Plenty of clubs have reached out to Brest to enquire about his services, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see his price tag rise even higher as a result.
As one of Ligue 1’s finest dribblers, Faivre has earned plenty of plaudits for his desire to beat a defender, but his biggest strength has also been named as a potential weakness.
Goalkeeper Gautier Larsonneur recently confessed: “In some time, he could become exceptional, because his qualities are out of the ordinary, but he needs to purify his game.
“Playing at the top level is about scoring goals and grabbing assists. Against Nice, at the end of the match, he could bring others in in two or three situations. But we don’t hold it against him because of how much he brings us.”
When you watch Faivre play, the first thing you’ll notice is the Frenchman’s outstanding left foot.
It’s described as a ‘wand’ by most reports of his games, and Telefoot’s Smail Bouabdellah went as far as to suggest that Faivre had more control over the ball with his feet than most do with their hands.
During his first six months with Brest, he boasted a league-high for number of successful dribbles, while his success percentage is second among those with similar numbers, behind only Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar.
Faivre was brought up as a central midfielder and spent the vast majority of his time with Monaco playing deep in midfield, in the box-to-box role he always felt was best for him.
However, since moving to Brest, he has been used almost everywhere apart from there.
Brest boss Olivier Dall’Oglio likes to maximise Faivre’s impact in attack and has made a point of playing him in more advanced roles. He spends most of his time out on the left wing and has even been a central striker at times.
Growing up, it was always expected that Faivre would lean towards his mother’s heritage and represent Algeria. La Gazette du Fennec reported back in 2018 that close family members all expected him to represent Algeria if the chance presented itself.
While that is still possible, he suggested his allegiances lay elsewhere when he accepted a call-up to the France Under-21 side in October 2020.
He still has time to switch to Algeria, but Faivre may have to decide soon as it appears France are ready to make him one of their own.
Most players don’t have to wait until after their 22nd birthday for their first year of consistent senior football, but Faivre had his patience tested by a Monaco side who were reluctant to commit to him.
Monaco tried to loan him to Belgian side Cercle Brugge, but Faivre refused as he felt he needed to start making progress immediately, and Brest swooped in to take advantage of the situation.
“Above all, Romain is a boy who wants to make up for time lost at Monaco,” Dall’Oglio told Ligue 1. “He wants to move forward, he is ambitious, he is serious, he works, he has goals.”
Having come out of nowhere this season, Faivre doesn’t exactly have the most appealing rating on FIFA 21.
Faivre is just 64 overall, with 65 dribbling and 65 passing his best stats, and he only comes with 73 potential.
He’s one to keep an eye on when the winter upgrades arrive. Gold card incoming?