Keita Balde Diao Completes AS Monaco Transfer from Lazio

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2017

Lazio's forward from Senegal Balde Diao Keita celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League playoff football match between Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen, at Olympic stadium in Rome on August 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI        (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

AS Monaco have completed the signing of Lazio star Keita Balde Diao.

The club confirmed the capture via their official Twitter account:

Keita notched 16 goals and five assists in 31 Serie A appearances last season. Here's a look at some of his highlights:

The 22-year-old is rapidly developing his ability to make more regular contributions to the team, upping his goal return from five in all competitions in 2015-16, albeit he notched eight of his 16 goals last season during a tremendous purple patch in the last six games.

He has also accrued some experience of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Champions League qualification during his time with the Serie A side.

A graduate of Barcelona's La Masia academy, the Senegal winger, who was born in Spain, is an exceptionally promising and technically accomplished talent whose pace and outstanding dribbling skills can add real width and stretch opposition defences.

Keita is versatile enough to play centrally as well and once scored a staggering 47 goals for Spanish fourth-tier club Cornella's youth side in a single season, so he will also be able to provide valuable cover up front.

As last season demonstrated, he looks to have refined his finishing at the top level somewhat, so he could be an effective long-term option there.

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Football journalist David Amoyal likened him to one of Serie A's other top talents and believes he could be set to thrive at his new club:

Like many young wingers, Balde could still do with improving his work rate and willingness to track back.

The youngster's future is full of potential, though, so—if given the opportunity to shine—he can prove to be worth every penny of his transfer fee.