The recent news that Paris Saint-Germain talisman Kylian Mbappe will not continue with the French giants past the 2024 season has put clubs on alert as they scramble for his services.
The Parisien club, while surprised by the timing of the Frenchman’s announcement, now must move quickly to avoid losing the superstar on a free transfer.
The entire situation casts fresh doubt on the PSG project that began with much promise and fanfare. Cracks started earlier this month when Lionel Messi announced his departure from the club for the sunny skies of Miami.
Kylian Mbappe: Natural heir to Messi and Ronaldo
After his heroics at the 2018 World Cup, the then-19-year-old forward was seen as a deserving successor to the mercurial talents of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who battled each for almost a decade for the title of Best Player in the World.
Mbappe has dominated Ligue 1, earning top scorer honors each of the past five seasons. However, there is a sense of disappointment that PSG has not conquered Europe yet. A squad comprised of talented players like Messi and Neymar – with whom Mbappe formed a lethal trident – has failed miserably in European competition.
Unparalleled success of Haaland at Manchester City
While no one can question Mbappe’s talent and drive – his big-match temperament was on full display in the World Cup final against Argentina – it must be particularly galling to watch the instant success that greeted Erling Haaland’s arrival at Manchester City.
It was widely thought that these two starlets would be dueling for individual honors throughout their careers.
However, the younger Haaland has seized his opportunity to flourish within the Guardiola system. His record-breaking season in England was a driving factor to the Citizen’s treble and has perhaps trumped the Frenchman’s efforts at club level.
It is unsurprising then that the 25-year-old Mbappe seeks a fresh challenge elsewhere to fulfill his ambition of a maiden Ballon d’Or to crown his achievements.
This precocious talent needs to choose his next club wisely. One only has to look at the cautionary tale of the Brazilian star, Oscar, to realize that talent alone is not enough and being in the right system is often overlooked. Let’s hope he chooses wisely.