Lemar? OK.But such a shame this Monaco team is being dismantled

Monaco were a breath of fresh air last season.

An exciting young team with plenty of pace and flair.

Arsenal seemed to be about to sign their 21-year-old winger Thomas Lemar.

But Sky Sports reckon midfielder Bakayoko is on his way to Chelsea.

And Monaco co-owner Prince Albert says that if Bakayoko leaves, Lemar will not be sold.

Kylian Mbappe is staying because he’s 18 and would not walk straight into the Real Madrid first team right now.

Last season this athletic Monaco team outfit played some beautiful football at high speed.

On February 21 they went to Manchester and lost 5-3 to City in the R16 first leg.

But in the second leg they beat City 3-1 to reach the QF on the away goals rule.

Their adventure continued in the QF when they won 3-2 in  Dortmund.

But the semi-final against Juventus was always going to be a big ask, especially after they lost the first leg at home by 2-0.

As we alway say, it’s a learning curve.

Looking back, we can say that Kylian Mbappe was suddenly Europe’s most exciting new footballer. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. And Mbappe is good enough.

But his success was partly because of Monaco’s style of play and the service provided by his skilful teammates.

But now that thrilling new team is breaking up too soon.

Unfortunately, this is the history of football.

Because the sport is a pyramid with the biggest and richest clubs at the top.

Whether they admit it or not, medium-sized and smaller clubs are acutely aware of their status within that pyramid.

If I was willing to mangle the English language I’d say: they can’t not be.

Because the football pyramid is what it is.