Credit: Kylian Mbappe via Twitter.
Kylian Mbappe is a rising star in world football. The AS Monaco striker may be only 18 years of age, but he has already shown a lot of promise and appears to have huge potential. Such has been the teenager’s performances in Ligue 1 and in the Champion League this season that there are top European clubs queuing up for his signature.
Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Mbappe from AS Monaco in the summer transfer window. Wenger has already revealed that he wanted to sign him last year, claiming that “he has an exceptional future ahead of him”. Although the youngster has played down speculation, once the season ends, his future will only come under more scrutiny.
Young and promising
Mbappe has been on the books of Monaco since 2013 and has really come to the fore this season. The striker has scored 10 goals and created 17 chances in 21 Ligue 1 matches so far this campaign.
The France Under-19 international has bagged two goals and created four goals in five Champions League matches this season. The youngster has been a key figure in Monaco’s progress to the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.
Mbappe scored in both legs of Monaco’s Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City, proving that he can hold his own against the top teams in Europe. One should not surprised if he plays an important role for Leonardo Jardim’s side against Borussia Dortmund and guides them to the last four.
Next Thierry Henry?
Mbappe has been named in some quarters as the ‘next Thierry Henry’. While sceptics will point out that Manchester United striker Anthony Martial and Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck were given the same tag not so long ago and things have not turned out too well for either, there is a case to be made for Mbappe.
The Frenchman is energetic and dynamic, and has a lot of pace. What is remarkable about Mbappe is that he plays with a maturity, elegance and calmness that even many experienced footballers lack. The youngster’s shot accuracy rate of 73% demonstrates that he does not take random shots at goal in the hope of scoring a goal now and again.
Should Arsenal make a move?
Monaco are a rich club and could win the league title in France this season. They could also advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League. Monaco do not have any reason to part company with one of their best young players in the summer, and Arsenal would find it hard to prise him away from the Ligue 1 outfit.
However, if Arsene Wenger remains in charge of Arsenal next season, then the Frenchman could be able to convince Mbappe to switch to the Emirates Stadium. After all, it was Wenger who developed Henry into the world-class striker he became. Although latest Premier League betting odds do not favour the Gunners to finish in the top four, the youngster should be looking at his long-term future and aiming to improve, which he will under the Arsenal manager.
The problem is that Monaco could ask a massive transfer fee to part company with Mbappe. With Manchester United also interested in the youngster, the French side could force the two English clubs into a bidding war.
Mbappe may not be able to produce instant results at Arsenal, but the North London club would be making a shrewd long-term investment if they secure the services of the Frenchman in the summer transfer window.