Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club made an approach to Monaco over exciting young forward Kylian Mbappe last summer, and said that the the 18 year old reminds him Thierry Henry.
The club’s record goalscorer began his career under Wenger at the French club, and Mbappe has caught the eye this season, scoring 13 goals so far as Monaco look to secure their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years.
Asked about him by a French reporter at his press conference earlier today, the Arsenal manager was full of praise for the youngster but worried that this much exposure so early in his career might prove harmful.
“Well, I approached him last year because I really believe that he has an exceptional future ahead of him, that he has all the qualities,” he said.
“He reminds me of a young Thierry Henry with the same clever look about him, the same qualities of intelligence in his movements and cat-like finishing. So that’s why.
“I think he’s an exceptional talent who promises to have a great future. Unfortunately today, all these young players are in full view from very, very early on and all the big clubs want them.
“I hope the fact that everybody is already talking of nobody but him isn’t going to have a negative impact on his future.”
Whether Arsenal go in for him again this summer remains to be seen. It’s going to be complicated by the managerial situation and the fact that he can probably pick and choose from countless top European clubs, but let’s see.
If he does decide to move, you’d hope we’re in there – especially given the likely departure of Alexis Sanchez at the end of the season.
Thanks to Emma Grenville-Wood for the translation.