France national team manager Didier Deschamps has revealed that Kylian Mbappe is set to have a fair share of defensive responsibilities at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Ahead of France’s World Cup group stage opener against Australia, Deschamps took some time to speak to Telefoot, where he revealed that while Mbappe will continue to enjoy “freedom” on the pitch for Les Bleus, the Paris Saint-Germain star will have to be active when off the ball as well.
“He’s a forward who needs freedom,” Deschamps said. “I will give him that freedom. But he will have defensive obligations, less than all the other players behind him, midfielders and defenders.
“But at the highest level, we can’t afford to lose a player when we don’t have the ball.”
Deschamps is projected to roll with a 4-3-1-2 setup for France at the World Cup, which is slated to see Mbappe slot into one of the two center forward spots upfront.
Mbappe will once again have the freedom to roam away from his designated spot on the pitch, but as Deschamps touched on, he will have to chip in when France is defending. This comes as the French forward has not committed to regularly helping PSG win back possession in Ligue 1 play as of late; he entered the home fixture against AJ Auxerre with a lowly 0.17 tackles completed in the final third per 90 mark this season.
France will open up its World Cup schedule with a crucial group stage fixture against Australia.