Highly sought after teenage striker Kylian Mbappe has become Paris Saint-Germain’s second major signing of the summer, following the world record arrival of Neymar.
The 18-year-old French international initially joins on a season long loan deal from Ligue 1 rivals Monaco, with the deal to be made permanent next summer for a reported fee of £166 million, as PSG look to operate within UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations following the £198 million signing of Neymar earlier this month.
“for any young person from paris it is a dream to wear the red and blue jersey” – kylian mbappe
“It is with great joy and pride that I join Paris Saint-Germain”, said Paris born Mbappe as the transfer was confirmed.
“For any young person from the Paris region it is often a dream to wear the red and blue jersey and experience the unique atmosphere of the Parc des Princes.
“I intend to continue my progression while helping the team achieve the very big objectives it has set itself”, he continued.
“among players of his age, he is without doubt the most promising in the world” – nasser el-khalaifi
And PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was thrilled having secured another major transfer coup.
“It was essential for French football that we keep and help develop such a great talent in our championship”, claimed Al-Khelaifi.
“Among players of his age, he is without doubt the most promising in the world.”
Monaco wasted little time in replacing Mbappe as they secured the signings of Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic from Inter Milan and 22-year-old Senegalese winger Keita Balde from Lazio.
Mbappe became Monaco’s youngest ever player when he made his debut in December 2015 before bursting on to the scene last season, scoring 26 goals and registering eight assists as Monaco romped to the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-final of the Champions League.
He is currently part of Didier Deschamps’ France squad that is preparing to face the Netherlands and Luxembourg in World Cup qualifying, having made his international debut as a late substitute in March 2017, aged 18 years, three months and five days old, becoming France’s second youngest player in the process.
Mbappe is the latest big money departure from Monaco following their impressive title winning 2016-17 season. Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy both joined Manchester City while midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko signed for Chelsea. Long serving Nabil Dirar and Valere Germain also moved on during the transfer window.
But one player who is set to be stay with ‘Les Monesgasques’ is Thomas Lemar after the 21 year-old France international winger reportedly turned down the chance to join English Premier League giants Arsenal in a £92 million deal on transfer deadline day. It is understood Lemar would prefer to join The Gunners’ league rival Liverpool but the Principality club rejected two bids from the Anfield side, the second believed to be worth as much as £64.8 million, for the player.
The departure of star players has done little thus far to unsettle Leonardo Jardim’s side as they have made a perfect start to the league season, most recently thrashing Marseille 6-1 at the Stade Louis II to register their fourth win of the season and keep pace with Mbappe’s new side at the Ligue 1 summit.
–Alistair Sargent, Editor (Sport)