FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Teenagers in the World 2017: No. 2, Kylian Mbappe
Around this time last year, few people had even heard of Kylian Mbappe – but nowadays the 18-year-old is widely considered one of the biggest stars in the world full stop.
The Frenchman's rise has been sensational, and it’s certainly arguable that he’s better than Thierry Henry was at his age. Lightning speed, amazing ball control and supreme vision make Mbappe unstoppable when he's on song – and that was the case more often than not last term.
Having started the 2016/17 season as a fringe player at Monaco, Mbappe began to soar after scoring one and assisting two more against Montpellier in October.
He netted 15 times in Ligue 1 en route to title glory for Les Monegasques and, even more impressively, netted in five consecutive Champions League knockout matches. Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund were beaten as Monaco reached the semi-finals, while the youngster scored at Juventus as well – ending the Old Lady's run of six consecutive games without conceding in the tournament.
I don't like comparing players – Mbappe has to become Mbappe and that is all. But my word, he is good. Ooh la la, l really like watching him play...
It remains to be seen whether his move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer was wise, but so far the early signs have been promising. Monaco are about to receive an astronomical €180 million for their prodigy, and that price tag will weigh heavy for the teenage Parisian. Originally he intended to stay at Monaco, the club that nurtured him, for one more season at least.
Mbappe's partnership with Neymar and Edinson Cavani has started well, even if his goal ratio is down from last term – somewhat unsurprisingly, though, considering the pedigree of his free-scoring new club-mates. Neymar didn't join PSG to be anything other than the main man, remember.
The 18-year-old has hardly had a consistent role either, having been let loose in all three positions across PSG’s forward line so far.
To cap his stunning ascent, Mbappe is now an important figure for France as well, having started in two World Cup qualifiers and netted his first international goal in August's 4-0 win over Holland.
Come summer, he will be expected to star at Russia’s summer showpiece – and aiming to the better of new pal Neymar.
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