Kylian Mbappe: The 3 reasons the PSG star wants to leave

Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring PSG's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain and SL Benfica, at The Parc des Princes Stadium, on October 11, 2022.
(Image credit: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe signed a new PSG contract less than 150 days ago. Now, it's being widely reported that the World Cup-winning forward wants to leave the French capital already. 

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano (opens in new tab) was one of the first to report (opens in new tab) that the 23-year-old wanted out, with French football expert Julien Laurens (opens in new tab) confirming the claims later and providing the three exact reasons for why Mbappe wants out. 

With Liverpool among the sides circling, Laurens' explanation certainly gives a little more inside into the situation at the Parc Des Princes. 

1. Kylian Mbappe doesn't like playing as a lone striker at PSG

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during the Ligue 1 match between Stade Reims and Paris Saint-Germain at Stade Auguste Delaune on October 08, 2022 in Reims, France.

Kylian Mbappe during the Ligue 1 match between Stade Reims and Paris Saint-Germain on October 8, in Reims, France (Image credit: Aurelien Meunier - PSG/PSG via Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe made his name as a teen talent bursting into space behind defenders alongside the wilier Radamel Falcao. Mbappe and Falcao helped fire Monaco to a surprise title and Champions League semi-final, despite few top sides playing a front two in the modern game. 

According to Laurens, Mbappe was reassured that he would no longer be playing up front by himself – a tactic that Mauricio Pochettino favoured last season when Lionel Messi joined the club. It made sense, really, since Neymar could move left and Messi right. But when Christophe Gaultier was hired at PSG, perhaps Mbappe expected a system change. 

Gaultier favoured a 4-4-2 at Lille, which rather like Monaco, yielded a shock Ligue 1 title at the expense of Les Parisiens – yet the new manager has continued with Mbappe central, Messi right and Neymar left in a 3-4-3. 

Some eagle-eyed fans have even spotted proof (opens in new tab) that Mbappe prefers playing on the right, after a shot of Gaultier's notebook was seen with the manager's notes. 

2. Mbappe was promised that a new centre-back would join

Paris Saint-Germain's Spanish defender Sergio Ramos (L) jokes with Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe during a training session at the club's Camp des Loges training ground in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris on October 10, 2022, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League first round Group H football match against Benfica.

Mbappe shares a joke with Sergio Ramos during training (Image credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Defensive frailties have facilitated the move to 3-4-3 this season, as Gaultier looks to improve the build-up at the back and add another defender to stop PSG being quite so open in transition. According to Laurens, however, Mbappe was told that this wouldn't be the tactic. 

While the back three has worked thus far for the side, a dominant new defender alongside captain Marquinhos would have allowed the French champions to stick with a back four. Two flying full-backs in Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes make for an attacking side, which needs balance at the back – and with Sergio Ramos perhaps past his best, it made sense for PSG to either draft in more cover there or revamp the backline. 

The club opted for the former, signing four midfielders to replace the likes of Angel Di Maria, Idrissa Gueye, Ander Herrera and Gini Wijnaldum. Thierry Henry has already weighed in (opens in new tab) on the subject and told Mbappe to think of the team first. 

3. PSG promised that Neymar would be sold

Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Brazilian forward Neymar (R) warm up prior to the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and SL Benfica, at The Parc des Princes Stadium, on October 11, 2022.

Mbappe and Neymar warm up prior to the Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica at the Parc des Princes Stadium, on October 11 (Image credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

We've seen plenty of team-mates who don't get on over the years but even Neymar refused to quash speculation that he and Mbappe don't see eye to eye. 

Laurens claims that Mbappe was promised Neymar would be sold, strengthening rumours that cropped up over the summer. Realistically, though, it must be difficult to sell an injury-prone 30-year-old with a wild reputation off the pitch when you bought him for somewhere in the region of £200 million.

It leaves Paris Saint-Germain in a curious position. Of their electric front three, Messi could well be leaving for a Barcelona return (opens in new tab), Mbappe wants out as soon as possible and the club tried to jettison Neymar over the summer. Who'd run a football club, eh?

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