Appraising Kylian Mbappe: A prospect in need of a realistic price tag



Having gone from rags to riches in a short period of time, Kylian Mbappe’s name is now on the lips of virtually everyone.

At this time last year, the 18-year-old was simply one of many untested youngsters in an AS Monaco squad full of youthful exuberance.

However, it has taken less than 12 months for Mbappe to claim a spot amongst players in the top tier of the football pyramid.

To his credit, the young Frenchman comes across as a humble, level-headed boy who is refusing to be consumed by the enormous extent of publicity he is suddenly receiving.

But one will only wonder whether that attitude from Mbappe will undergo a dramatic change a year from now in the same way his reputation has taken a new glossy shape.

After racking up 15 goals in 29 league games and six goals in only nine appearances in the Champions League this season, Mbappe deserves recognition.

However, there is an alarming trend regarding the pampering of promising young players which is yet to be eradicated from this game.

Very soon, that extreme level of overhyping will result in some club overpaying for the player’s services and suddenly his shortcomings as a young player will not be given enough time to be improved upon.

Mbappe is not the first embryonic talent football has ever seen and in all likelihood, he will not be the last, even in this era.

He does boast most of the attributes of a star in the making and his numbers do not lie, but we must not forget that the boy only has one season (one season!) under his belt.

The most worrying sight of all is how clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea are lining up with offers which make Paul Pogba’s transfer fee from a year ago seem average.

That helps play the game into the hands of AS Monaco who will sensibly try their best to force out the highest bid possible from any of the striker’s suitors.

However, what has to be realized is that Monaco’s valuation of the player has almost no relation to his actual price as a footballer.

If every talented kid who scored an excess of 20 goals in one season was treated like Mbappe, the world record transfer fee would have been set at £300 million well before the Pogba deal.

Another reason to refrain from overhyping and effectively overpaying for Mbappe’s signature is the immense pressure it would place on the youngster to perform for his new club.

Fans will care less about the fact that he is merely an 18-year-old wonderkid and actually expect wonders from him every week simply because he cost a fortune.