If you hadn’t already heard, Monaco have a world class array of young stars. Each new breakthrough, it seems, is more impressive than the last.
The newest kid on the block, though, is just 18 years old, and has already been making a name for himself. And when I say ‘just 18’, I mean that he’s only just turned 18.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 5, 2017
But Kylian Mbappé’s two goals – one right at the start of the first half, and one right at the end of it – have risen his star even further. After his goal against Manchester City, Mbappé has a Champions League goal to his name, and now 10 strikes in France’s Ligue 1, too. It brings his tally to seven goals in his last four starts.
If his goals weren’t enough, though, his performance against Nantes this weekend shows just how lethal he is. Two goals with only three shots is an impressive strike rate, but the fact that he can have such a huge impact on the game whilst touching the ball only 30 times, and making only 14 passes and two dribbles shows what he is: an impact player who can spring to life at any moment.
He made only one tackle in the game, and although I’m not criticising him for his work rate – it would be overly harsh in any case – it does show his value to this Monaco team right now. They love to counter attack, and having a man they can rely on to finish off their rapid counters makes him worth his weight in gold, even if pressing high or tracking back isn’t top of his list of activities.
Recently, Arsenal have been linked with the Monaco youngster, and comparisons with Thierry Henry haven’t been far behind, but you can see why: his lethal streak is just what Arsenal need to bring their squad to the next level.
Players don’t always leave Monaco before they hit their 20s, and when they do, they can often fail – even Anthony Martial is having a tough time right now – but whoever gets Mbappé will be getting a real player. And with Alexis Sanchez sitting on the Arsenal naughty step right now, perhaps those upstairs at the Emirates Stadium should be seriously considering a move for a man who can replace the stroppy Chilean star.