Talent and potential come about often in European football, with clubs producing quality players throughout various academies and youth systems. But few have drawn the attention and desire quite like AS Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe Lottin.
Kylian Mbappe: Monaco’s Rising Star
The 18-year-old has been a major contributor to the principality-based side’s rise to the top of Ligue 1 during the current term and is the subject of constant transfer rumours ahead of the summer period.
Working his way through AS Bondy and the fabled Clairefontaine, Mbappe signed with Monaco in 2015 and made his Ligue 1 debut soon after in December. Possessing incredible pace and superb goal-scoring instincts, the youngster has quickly becoming one of the most exciting recent prospects in Europe.
The 2016-17 season has seen Mbappe begin to reach new heights, as his production for Les Rouges et Blancs becomes more prominent. The striker has scored ten goals and added five assists for Monaco in league play this year.
Manager Leonardo Jardim’s side has brought an attacking flair that has been the talk of the French top flight this campaign, netting an astounding 84 goals in 29 league matches thus far. A strong showing in the UEFA Champions League has seen Mbappe shine as well, with Monaco looking for positive play in the second leg of their Round of 16 encounter with Manchester City Wednesday evening.
Pace and skill
Monaco’s line-up features a wealth of quality players, especially in the attack. Valere Germain, Bernardo Silva and an in-form Radamel Falcao have all played a part in leaving opposing defences in shambles this year.
But even with so many other threats around him on the pitch, Kylian Mbappe has managed to stand out in a major way.
Able to take on defenders all on his own and demonstrating accurate passing when needed, the French international would be able to help improve nearly any attacking front.
Youth and overall development
The transfer market is where football clubs look to add talent for the present and for the future. At such a young age, Mbappe’s potential appears to have no limit at this point in time.
Still developing his game in various aspects, the forward has not seemed out of place even in the most prestigious of competitions. Mbappe’s play against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last month was memorable despite the 5-3 loss for Monaco.
With an ability to play in various positions along the front-line, Mbappe’s future development from such a young age is part of what makes his future so bright.
The next Thierry Henry?
Praise can come in many forms for a young footballer, but being compared to the game’s legends are another matter altogether.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger stated earlier this year that Mbappe has “similar qualities” to Thierry Henry, certainly strong words from the Gunners boss. While he clearly is not at that type of level yet, comparisons such as this display what others see in the young prodigy.
Monaco still have much work to do this season if they are to capture a Ligue 1 title and advance in the UEFA Champions League. But efforts to keep Kylian Mbappe at the Stade Louis II may be the most difficult task of all.