What do Luka Modric, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Xherdan Shaqiri, Victor Moses, Miralem Pjanic, and Dejan Lovren have in common? Apart from their impressive football careers, all players were refugees at some point in their life. However, in their moments of despair, football came to their rescue, helping them turn their lives around. And one recent success is Mohamed Toure. The 18-year-old is perhaps the best young prospect to come out of the A-League, Australia’s top football league along with Garang Kuol.
While fans of the A-League have already seen him tearing defences for more than two seasons, his move to Stade Reims B has people across Europe taking notice of his talent. And while Mohamed Toure is playing in the fourth tier of French football, his performance shows he is too strong for the league. His performance has also caught the eye of top hierarchy at Stade Reims’ who could promote him to the first team.
So, who is Mohamed Toure, and how good is he?
Who is Mohamed Toure?
Mohamed Toure was born on March 26, 2004, in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. His parents were from Liberia but fled the country in 1999 when the Second Liberian War started. Their parents fled to neighbouring Guinea, where they took shelter in a refugee camp. It was here that Mohamed Toure was born.
However, his family didn’t stay in Guinea for long, choosing to migrate to Australia. Arriving in the country, Toure displayed immense talent in football from a young age. This prompted his parents to enrol him in the youth academy of Croydon Kings, a semi-professional club in Adelaide. And for the next four years, Mohamed Toure juggled his way between playing football and studying.
He would then join the FFSA NTC in 2019 but stayed there only for a year as one of the biggest clubs in Australia came calling. His immense talent was already known among the footballing circles in his city, and A-League side Adelaide United moved quickly to make him one of their own.
Bonne chance, Mohamed and Yaya 👋✈️🇫🇷
We can confirm the transfer of Mohamed Toure to a Ligue 1 French side for an undisclosed fee. Yaya Dukuly will also be joining the French club as part of the deal.
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) June 3, 2022
Mohamed Toure was only 15 years when the club signed him. Usually, any club would move such a young player to their youth ranks where they could sharpen their skills for at least 2-3 years before giving them a crack at the first team.
However, such was his talent that he was drafted straight into the team and made his debut on February 8, 2020, against Brisbane Roar. However, it was his second match that made history in the A-league. Coming on as a substitute in the game’s dying minutes, Toure scored a goal, becoming the youngest scorer in the league’s history.
He would stay at the club for an additional two years before Reims signed him in the summer transfer window.
Mohamed Toure stats
After making his debut in the 2019-20 A-League season, Mohamed Toure became an impact sub for the team. The following season he played 15 matches, scoring three goals. While this return may look ordinary, we must remember he played an average of 29 minutes during the season. When accounting for all that, Toure scored a goal every 130 minutes, a very impressive return. Toure’s goals conversion rate was also an impressive 25 per cent.
🔴 16 year-old Mohamed Touré for Adelaide United in the A-League:
✅ 9 Games
⚽️ 3 Goals
🅰️ 1 Assist
⏱️ 286 Minutes
🇦🇺 The Australian winger has a goal involvement every 71 minutes! 😳pic.twitter.com/xqXftCzwWZ
— Soccer Manager Games | Download SM23 Now! (@SoccerManager) March 3, 2021
The next season his role would remain the same as Adelaide United looked to gradually ease him into the squad. The next season he featured in 18 matches, playing an average of 26 minutes per game. He would score three goals, one per 155 minutes. This season, he helped Adelaide United finish in an impressive fourth place.
In 2022, he moved more than 16,000 kilometres to join Reims, but that has not affected his performance. In just four matches, he has scored two goals, one of which was the winner against US Boulogne.
Mohamed Toure’s potential and style of play
Mohamed Toure is a skilful forward who deploys pace and physical strength to good use in the attacking third. However, while he can score what one would call poacher goals, he also likes to be involved in the build-up play. During his time at Adelaide United, he would often receive the ball near the line, and then he would use his pace and strength to get past the defenders before putting the ball into the box for his teammate.
Toure’s impressive physique, speed, and dribbling skills help him carry the ball for long distances without getting dispossessed. And to that at such a young age is an impressive feat. This sometimes makes fouling him the only way to stop him. However, he is still raw and can make mistakes which sometimes puts his team in a disadvantageous position.
So, while he may not generate the excitement of other top talents such as Endrick Felipe, or Vitor Roque, or Nico Williams he is an exceptional talent that could blossom into one of the top players in the future.
2 – At 16y 215d, Archie Goodwin's goal for @NewcastleJetsFC during #MCYvNEW tonight makes him the second youngest goal scorer in a match in #ALeague history, only Mohamed Toure (15y 325d v CCM, 14 Feb 2020) has been younger. Spotlight. pic.twitter.com/BBsFApd4Oi
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) June 10, 2021
Mohamed Toure transfer news
In the summer transfer window, Stade Reims signed Toure for an undisclosed fee. So it is safe to say that he will spend a season or two before he starts looking for greener pastures. It was said that Bayern Munich and Leeds United were interested but, in the end, lost to the French team.
And it is suitable for his development as he will get more chances at Stade Reims. He also has dual citizenship in Australia and Guinea and has still not decided which nation he will represent.
For now, he must keep doing what he does and who knows, he could be the next superstar who came out of abject poverty and struggles to make it at the top level like a certain Alexander Isak of Sweden.