By Eugene Heely
Kylian Mbappé exploded onto the football world stage in the 2016-17 season. The young French forward made his mark in the free-scoring Ligue 1 side, AS Monaco. In 29 appearances, he scored 15 times and assisted the likes of Radamel Falcao to win the Principality side their eighth league title–just ahead of Paris Saint-Germain who finished second.
His consistently strong performances, at only 18-years-old, quickly brought about transfer rumors. A list of suitors quickly appeared, with Arsenal FC and Real Madrid quickly throwing their hates into the ring for a surprise transfer. However, it was Mbappé’s decision to stay in France and move to PSG. While only a season-long loan to start, PSG have the option to buy the winger outright for €180 million. Has Mbappé justified his transfer free this season?
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) April 1, 2018
With incredible new teammates like Neymar Jr. and Edinson Cavani, it would be understandable if Mbappé struggled to get up to speed. Quite the opposite has occurred. It’s been business as usual for the France international. His stats show that in the team of world-renowned footballers, his skill still has an impact. In the 2017-18 season, Mbappé scored 13 league goals in 23 appearances. With a bag of assists and an ability to create chances at will, the Frenchman has certainly held form at the capital club.
While Mbappé’s domestic performances have kept up their impressive pace, so has the play in Europe. Mbappé had a dream start to life in the UEFA Champions League with Monaco–he scored 6 during his first appearance in the competition. This season saw just 4 goals but he made up for the lack of scoring with 3 assists. Playing with more attention to team play is one reason for PSG’s record-setting Champions League group stage. Their best performance came in November, where Mbappé contributed to a 7-1 demolition of Celtic FC. While PSG were eventually knocked out by Real Madrid, you can be assured that Mbappé will be back with a vengeance in the Champions League next season.
This confidence to play with ease wherever and whatever the challenge, earned Mbappé his first international call-up. Since joining the France national team, he scored off the bench against the Netherlands and then a double against Russia last March. Combining with the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, Mbappé will hopefully take the French team to the next level. As a result of his and his countrymen’s efforts, France enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup as real contenders with them currently 13/2 in the World Cup football betting with bet365. This young star could make history this summer in Russia.
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) March 27, 2018
Overall, Mbappé has continued to develop this season. While not currently considered in the same class with the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, all that he has achieved has been done before the age of 20. In the seasons ahead, Mbappé will focus on defining his style of football. If he can learn from the likes of Neymar to improve his dribbling and take shooting lessons from Cavani, he can become a complete player. PSG will no doubt trigger the option to buy the player at the end of the season and in doing so, will retain perhaps Europe’s most exciting young player.