Name: Kylian Mbappe
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Date of Birth: 20 December 1998
Position: Centre-forward, winger
It’s sometimes extremely easy to forget that Kylian Mbappe is only 21 years old. And despite that, he is undoubtedly one of the biggest footballing stars on the entire planet. Of course, it goes without saying that the Frenchman – a World Cup winner – is also the most expensive young player in the world. But looking at his career so far and the feats he has managed, it has to be said he very much warranted all the tags he’s been given.
For Mbappe, the journey through the professional footballing stage began at Monaco’s youth setups. Before that, however, there were reportedly numerous big clubs all lined up for a chance to sign him up immediately. The likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich all wanted a piece of the pie but the youngster ultimately, and perhaps surprisingly, settled for Monaco instead.
But that was a chance for him to feature regularly and immediately become the star of the club. Needless to say, that’s exactly what ended up happening as Mbappe warranted all the previous hype and then some. The youngster would score 27 goals and assist further 16 across 60 games, leading Monaco to the Champions League semi-finals in his second season and clinching the Ligue 1 title as well. It was becoming painfully obvious that it was just a matter of time before he swapped clubs and once again, he was quite spoiled for choice.
Still, in August 2017, Paris Saint-Germain confirmed they had won the battle for his signature and would take the youngster on loan with an obligation to buy the following season. His arrival to the French capital was made possible through a deal worth €145m (£131.1m) with extra €35m (£31.6m) in add-ons, making him the most expensive teenager in the history of the sport and also the most expensive transfer ever within a domestic league.
But once again, it was all worth it as Mbappe proceeded to score 90 goals and assist further 50 across 121 games for Paris Saint-Germain, cementing himself as the most talented young player in the world bar none. And as such, he is touted to become an eventual Ballon d’Or winner and even put a dent in Lionel Messi’s and Cristiano Ronaldo’s legacies along the way.
Even though he is still waiting for his European glory, domestically, PSG have been tearing the opposition apart with their newly formed duo of Mbappe and Neymar. It’s difficult to imagine him staying in France forever, though, and he is only 21.
For him, the sky’s the limit.
When you’re one of the best and you’re still so young, there isn’t going to be a single club out there who’d want to miss out on the chance to sign you. Needless to say, the same is true for Mbappe as he is constantly connected with various transfer rumours and transfer news. Lately, however, it’s been all about Real Madrid.
The Frenchman is Los Blancos’ distant dream and that deal seems like one of those that are simply destined to happen at one point in the future. But of course, there were some transfer rumours connecting him to Liverpool and maybe the Reds take a swing at PSG too.
At the moment, however, he is set to remain in the French capital for a while longer.
Mbappe is a deadly finisher who uses his pace and physicality to brush off his markers and blaze through the pitch and towards the goal. And that explosiveness along with sheer speed and incredible strength are definitely one of his main weapons. But it’s also his movement and intelligent positioning that make him stand out from the crowd.
The Frenchman is also a strong dribbler, meaning that it’s extremely difficult to take the ball away from him. Needless to say, he provides PSG with a dose of creativity, energy and just lethality in the final third. But Mbappe can also assist as well and his combinations and link-up play are on an admirable level despite his young age.
And that’s the best part about him – there is still so much room for growth and it’s scary to even think about what kind of a player he could become once he enters his prime.