Although Kylian Mbappe is yet to hand in a transfer request to Monaco, it’s widely expected that he will be leaving the Stade Louis II this summer. The 18-year-old scored 26 goals in all competitions in 2016/17 as he rose to fame across the continent. He’s now the most sought after youngster in Europe.
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have made their interest known, both of whom have reportedly had bids of over £100 million rejected, with Barcelona also throwing their name into contention after recently coming into some money via the sale of Neymar to PSG.
With a multitude of elite clubs to choose from, RealSport take a look at where Mbappe should go next.
1 Paris Saint-Germain
What about the six-time French champions? A move to PSG from Monaco, whilst somewhat stabbing his old club in the back, would represent a return home for the Paris-born 18-year-old and a chance to become the idol of his hometown.
However, he’d be competing with Neymar for that status. Is that really a fight he wants to indulge at this early stage of his career?
The positives are plentiful, though. PSG would offer Mbappe a consistent basis to win trophies and reach the latter stages of the Champions League, it’s a return home to comfortable surroundings and he’d surround himself with the highest quality players.
However if Mbappe sees his future as a striker, he'll be competing with the prolific goal-machine Edinson Cavani.
What about the left flank, his second position? Well, there’s more chance of PSG signing me than them dropping Neymar or moving him out of position to make way for Mbappe, not after spending £200 million.
2 Real Madrid
Whilst Zinedine Zidane and Leonardo Jardim don’t play the same system, the two striker system they employ best suits Mbappe’s game. It heralded his eye-catching performances last season and spending over £100 million on a player dictates that the system is tailored for him, not the other way round.
Zidane loves his midfield diamond and it would allow Mbappe to play the same game he did at Monaco, as the second striker playing off Radamel Falcao.
Instead of the Colombian, the 18-year-old would have Karim Benzema or Cristiano Ronaldo. Different personnel, same job.
Madrid and Zidane offer Mbappe the flexibility to not only play through the middle and continue his development in that role, but to provide depth for the left flank.
In terms of personnel, Zidane is Mbappe’s idol, a French-speaking manager and just an absolute footballing icon.
Secondly, Los Blancos have a wave of youth players all ready to break through into the first team, of which Mbappe would be the crowning jewel. It means there’d be little chopping and changing, rather a settled squad Mbappe can get comfortable with.
He’d understand their game and vice-versa. The benefits of developing with the same group of players cannot be underestimated.
Barcelona are rolling in the riches after the world record transfer of Neymar to PSG and could easily afford to bring Mbappe to the Camp Nou. However, is this the right move?
The 18-year-old would slot straight into the starting XI, you’d assume, on the left flank to fill the void left by Neymar, though matters are complicating if the Catalans complete the potential signings of Ousmane Dembele (right/left winger) and/or Philippe Coutinho (left winger).
It would see Mbappe’s game-time reduce and it’s not what he needs at present.
He has the potential to be one of the game’s best strikers, but moving to Barcelona will see him shunted out wide like Thierry Henry was, a position that doesn’t best cater to his attributes and style of play.
Then there’s the current crisis to contend with. Barcelona don’t know who’s coming and going, the board are resting on their laurels and there are identity issues. Signing Mbappe suggests a shift back to the direct style of play Luis Enrique sought to master, with the focus on quick transitions to the front three.
Is that what the club and the fans want? Many are harking back to the old days of midfield possession as the foundation of dominance. It’s a style Mbappe doesn’t suit all too well. Moving to Barcelona could well be the worst move he could possibly make. It’s too turbulent at this point in time and the teenager craves stability.
RealSport verdict: Real Madrid
Barcelona are too turbulent in the current climate and need stability before Mbappe can realistically consider them as an option, whilst PSG are enticing, but they don’t come close to the package offered by Real Madrid.
At the Santiago Bernabeu, Mbappe will play for his idol and French footballing icon in a system that suits his game, in a position he thrives in, forming a close-knit bond with a special group of youngsters all ready to break into the first team.
A new era of dominance is on the horizon. Mbappe could be a part of it.
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