Which Spanish juggernaut best fits Kylian Mbappe?
Background Image: Zakarie Faibis, CC BY-SA 4.0
Nothing captivates football fans more than seeing a young player manoeuvre his way to football's peak. Kylian Mbappe announced himself to the world while playing for the French side, AS Monaco. The vibrant attacker caught fans' eyes at a very young age, featuring for the principality club at the tender age of sixteen. The then-teenager was an integral part of Monaco's amazing run to displace Ligue 1 champions, Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. Mbappe has since been touted for greater things, leaving his childhood club for the side he dethroned during his breakthrough campaign.
The Parisians broke the bank to land Mbappe, with the forward costing an outrageous €180 million, making him the world's second-most expensive signing, behind teammate, Neymar. The former Barcelona star was tipped to be the shining light, coming out of Lionel Messi's shadow. However, Mbappe has matched his Brazilian counterpart blow-for-blow.
Despite his tender age, he's still only 21, Mbappe plays the absolute confidence of a seasoned professional. Proving to be well worth the money, delivering no fewer than five trophies at the Parc des Princes so far. Having established himself perhaps as the key cog in this squad, there are still greater tasks ahead. It feels somewhat inevitable that the youngster won't see out his full career in the French capital.
PSG usually has to deal with a lot of tempting offers from other European juggernauts, seeking to buy some of their fiercest weapons. With each passing transfer window, there's an increasing thought that Mbappe will be leaving sooner rather than later. He's contracted until summer 2022, with a current market value of €200million meaning any serious buyer will have to spend big despite a winding down deal.
A versatile player capable of causing havoc from an attacking area, his lightning pace, skill and finishing makes him among the finest players modern football has to offer. Not so many attackers on parade can boast all those assets. Not many clubs can afford to pay for that privilege. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, including elite Premier League teams are all showing interest in this young gem, however. Spanish juggernauts remain the frontrunners to sign him.
Spain holds more promise than any other destination. With his current skill, Mbappe will be a serious Ballon d'Or contender in the near future, though he'd have to pull up trees to win that award in Paris. A player of his calibre deserves that honour, to do so, he'll have to make the switch to sunny Spain. Each of the last ten winners has hailed from Espana. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are always fighting it out for continental success, too. You'd imagine only two of those teams have a realistic shot at signing Mbappe, though. Sorry, Atleti fans...
The Catalonian giants are heavily linked with a move for Neymar. The Brazilian's reunion with his former employers is looking more and more likely. Make no mistake about it, he'll settle back in instantly. That could pose a problem for Mbppe. There's an argument to be made that both Neymar and Mbappe are stunting each others growth. Throw Lionel Messi into the mix and the problem only worsens. Everyone has their favourite position, though Mbappe would probably be third-choice in this pecking order.
Les Merengues offer more promises. He'd walk in straight into the team, playing either as the striker or right-winger. Gareth Bale's best days are behind him while Real Madrid's youngsters continue to show inconsistencies. Furthermore, Mbappe has always verbalised his admiration for his countryman and Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane. Playing for Zizou would be a dream come true. It also helps when you've got Eden Hazard on the opposite flank helping out.
At 21, Mbappe has time to open another chapter in his young footballing life. Featuring another European powerhouse that can decorate his career both in terms of individual accolades and collectively trophies, it feels like the Santiago Bernabeu would be the wisest choice.