This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Stephen Warnock has told The Liverpool Echo that the only thing stopping Kylian Mbappe joining Liverpool is his desire to win the Ballon d’Or.
The Reds have been heavily linked with the 2018 World Cup winner over the past few weeks, with a fee of €250m (£213m) mentioned as to how much the PSG man would cost.
Jurgen Klopp has poured cold water on any speculation, but Warnock still thinks that Mbappe would be interested in a move. However, he believes his individual aspirations could be a stumbling block.
He said: “Would Mbappe go to Liverpool? You know what, why wouldn’t he come? Why wouldn’t he want to play against the best players in the Premier League and really test himself?
“I think the one problem we face over here with players like that is they often feel like they can only win the Ballon d’Or if they go to Real Madrid or Barcelona. Why can’t there be a shift? Why can’t there be a Premier League team who dominates Europe for a number of years?”
On talent alone, Liverpool would be signing a truly world-class player if they were to get the 20-year-old. He is one of the best players on the planet, and his record so far speaks for itself. In 160 senior club matches, he has 97 goals and 52 assists to his name, whilst he has also won the biggest trophy in football with his country.
However, there are questions surrounding his attitude. It was surprising to see him use his speech when picking up the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award last season to say that he could look to leave the club, and pundits such as Christophe Dugarry are worried that he is turning into Neymar (RMC via AS).
If this is true in regards to the Ballon d’Or, it is a huge reason why Liverpool should avoid bringing him in. The Anfield outfit appear to have fantastic team spirit and that, more than anything, could be the difference between them winning the Premier League title and missing out once again.
James Milner and Jordan Henderson, for example, would likely to struggle to get into a lot of other top teams, yet they are important squad members for Jurgen Klopp, with the latter even being the captain. The last thing they need to add to the mix is a player who is making a move with an individual award at the forefront of his decision-making.
In all fairness, this has not come from the horse’s mouth, but rather from a pundit. Having said that, it doesn’t appear to be beyond the realms of possibility. Should this be the case, he would be a questionable addition for the Merseyside club.