Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he tried to bring France under-19 international Kylian Mbappé to the Emirates last year but the player opted to stay at Monaco.
Speaking to French television earlier in the week, the boss admitted he’d been following the progress of the 18-year-old striker who has six goals and seven assists to his name this season.
Asked about the prospect in his pre-Chelsea press conference, Wenger reiterated his belief that Mbappé shares qualities with Thierry Henry and that he’d tried to sign him.
“Yes, he has similarities to Thierry Henry. First of all, he’s from the Caribbean as well and he has a huge talent. He plays for Monaco, Thierry Henry played for Monaco. From when I was at Monaco I could see in Thierry similarities.
“After that, what makes the career is the mental aspect that Thierry had. This young boy has to show that he has similar qualities on the mental front that Thierry had.
“It was at stake last season [a move to Arsenal] but he decided to stay where he was.”
Mbappé appears to be on the radar of a number of clubs now, including the likes of Borussia Dortmund.
In light of the huge transfer that Anthony Martial made to the Premier League last season it’s fair to say that despite his tender years the lad probably wouldn’t come cheap.
It’ll be interesting to see how he develops and whether we ever make another approach.