Kylian Mbappe’s reasons for turning down Arsenal and Arsene Wenger
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Kylian Mbappe is undoubtedly the most exciting young talent in world football. Since joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, the World Cup winner has a staggering 111 goals in 153 games.
The 22-year-old joined the French giants from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco, but it could have been very different, with the forward rejecting the chance to join Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
The legendary Gunners boss described Mbappe as the ‘next Pele’ but despite interest from North London, he decided to join PSG.
“He could become the next Pelé,” Wenger told Telefoot in 2019. “He has no limits. He’s 18 and will only get stronger. I wanted him too, but €180m is too much for us.
“He has a balanced game for a striker. He scores goals and he gives chances. It’s the quality of great players.”
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And Mbappe admitted that the respect was mutual, claiming it would have been a dream to play under his compatriot.
“I met with Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach. He has a great reputation here in France, he’s well-respected and knows how to develop young players. This was a real option for me,” he explained in 2018.
“I dream of being managed by Arsène Wenger. He is French, he’s had a great career and now he is free because he has left Arsenal.
“We weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs but my family told me it had to be my decision and one I needed to make.
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“It also had to be a long-term decision. So it was up to me and I decided to come here in order to develop.”
Mbappe made another case for his position amongst the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring a sensational hat-trick in PSG’s 4-1 win over Barcelona in the Champions League.
Wenger believes Mbappe’s side are the favourites to win this year’s competition, but must tie down their star striker to a new deal.
The Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of next season and Wenger feels that along with strike partner Neymar, PSG need to secure their futures.
“Paris Saint-Germain are one of the favourites to win the Champions League,” Wenger told beIN Sports, after the striker’s heroics in the Champions League.
“But as well, now, the case is Mbappe is free to move in 2022. If he does not extend the contract in 2021, Paris Saint-Germain will have to sell Mbappe or lose him for free in 2022.
“They have to extend Neymar and Mbappe together,” Wenger added.
“And that looks like it will be very very expensive. The question Paris Saint-Germain has to answer is can they convince the two and do they have the money to do it. Because they need to sign them together.”
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