Spotlight: Kylian Mbappé

 

PROFILE
Full name: Kylian Sanmi Mbappé Lottin
Date of Birth: December 20, 1998 (18)
Born in: Bondy (FRA)
Position: Forward
Current Club: AS Monaco

Thierry Henry. David Trezeguet. Karim Benzema. Kylian Mbappé?

Without putting the inevitable “next [great player]” label on a still precocious talent, we can begin to see comparisons between Mbappé and the three great French forwards aforementioned. The young Frenchman has enjoyed a terrific season with league-leading Monaco and has been attracting the attention of top European clubs.

Kylian Mbappé was born in Bondy in the northeastern suburbs of Paris into an athletic family. His father Wilfried originates from Cameroon and works as a coach in addition to being Kylian’s agent. The young striker’s mother originates from Algeria and is a former handball player. His half-brother Jirès Kembo-Ekoko spent six years in the Ligue 1 with Rennes and currently plays in Dubai.

Having joined the Monaco academy at 14, it took Kylian Mbappé just two years to make his first team debut. He became the youngest player to play for the Monégasques when he came on as a sub on December 2, 2015 aged just 16 years and 347 days. In doing so, Mbappé broke a 21 year-old record set by none other than Thierry Henry. Two months later, he became Monaco’s youngest goalscorer – again breaking Thierry Henry’s record – by scoring in a 3-1 win against Troyes.

The baby-faced attacker burst onto the world scene with his exploits in the Champions League against a very much fancied Manchester City team. Before those memorable nights at the Etihad Stadium and the Stade Louis II, Mbappé had begun turning heads with his play in Ligue 1. Evidently, the youngster has been involved in 20 goals for Monaco this season in the French first division (12 goals, 8 assists). He has done so in 978 minutes played, which means he is implicated in a goal every 48 minutes or so.

Very much a big part of Monaco’s adventures to dreamland this season, Mbappé was been rewarded with his first call up for the French national team. He made his debut against Luxembourg on March 25, 2016, coming on as a substitute for Dimitri Payet in the 78th minute.

With Karim Benzema currently being left out of the national side due to his incident with Mathieu Valbuena and Olivier Giroud forever a polarizing figure, do not be surprised if Mbappé is starring at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

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