Arsenal: Arsene Wenger Kylian Mbappe advice wise and undermining


Arsene Wenger has advised Kylian Mbappe to stay at Monaco for one more year. While it may undermine Arsenal’s transfer hopes, it is wise counsel, showing the measure of the man.

Kylian Mbappe is a sensationally gifted player. At just 18 years of age, he has scored a remarkable 18 goals in 19 starts, 17 of which came as a central striker and two in an attacking midfield role. He has scored five goals in five Champions League starts, including goals against Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the knockout stages. And now many clubs are after his services, Arsenal being one of them.

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The Monaco centre-forward is one of the hottest properties in world football, having been likened to his childhood hero: Thierry Henry. As a pacy, ruthless centre-forward, Mbappe has established a rather formidable reputation for himself in his short career thus far.

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And Arsene Wenger has admitted that he would like to sign him in the past, though tempered expectations by stating that he could be priced out of the market. When asked about a possible destination for Mbappe, Wenger reeled off a number of clubs who could sign him, before giving him a piece of rather insightful advice:

"“Can Arsenal get him? I don’t know, that’s down to him. You know certainly as I do that today he will decide where he goes and say: Real Madrid? Maybe. Barcelona? Maybe. Arsenal? Manchester? He can go where he wants. So I don’t know what are his deep aspirations but maybe the best thing for him is to stay one more year at Monaco.”"

Suggesting that Mbappe would be best served by staying at Monaco is not advantageous for Wenger and Arsenal. Signing him would be a true coup, an addition that could revolutionise what is quickly becoming a stagnating and rotting squad. And here is Wenger advising him to stay with Monaco for another season. It seems a little undermining.

And that is exactly what it is. Wenger is not, at least at face value, helping his chances of signing Mbappe. But he is nonetheless willing to give him such advice. Why? Because that is the measure of the man. Wenger is more than someone desperate to the best for his club.

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He, invariably, does best for his players, as well as his club. Managers often treat their players as commodities, tools which benefit the fate of the team. Wenger treats them as people, and Mbappe is simply the latest to be treated as such by a man who deserves immeasurable respect.