I’m not one to deal in hypotheticals when it comes to football but I do allow myself to dream about signings sometimes. One of those wishful thinking signings of late has been Kylian Mbappe of Monaco and here’s why.
He’s been dubbed the ‘next Thierry Henry’ but so was Anthony Martial last season so let’s ignore that tag for a moment and focus on the facts. This lad is superb. Granted, I haven’t watched every single Monaco game this season but the few I have watched – including both legs of their Champions League tie against Manchester City – have shown me more than enough.
The perfect fit for Liverpool FC
Considering this is a huge part of whether or not Jürgen Klopp signs someone, Mbappe would be a really positive signing. At 18 years of age, he’s at the perfect age for Klopp to mentor him and further his already impressive traits while being at an age that perfectly fits FSG’s model of buying talent that will only get better with time.
Where he differs positively, however, is that he’s already started making the step up from a player with potential to a player of proven quality. If Liverpool were to pay the money required – likely £25 million pounds or more – then it would be a huge statement of intent from the owners and the manager while still bringing in a player who fits into the club’s current system and policy.
Turning to his onfield qualities and it just gets better and better. Capable of playing both as a striker or out wide – two positions lacking in depth and quality at Liverpool – Mbappe has pace to burn, skill and a superb eye for goal, both scoring them and setting them up for teammates. The 18-year-old has 17 goals already this season with a further five assists and has averaged a goal every 89 minutes in the Ligue 1 this season – an utterly ridiculous statistic for someone his age.
For someone of just 5′10 in height, he also comes with a reputation for being strong in aerial challenges when the ball is hit long and won’t shy away from trying to win a header.
Not faultless but young enough to improve
As I mentioned above, being just 18 years old would give Klopp plenty of time to nurture and mentor Mbappe’s considerable talents and turn him into a truly world class footballer. He has, of course, got faults and flaws in his game but that’s got to be expected of someone playing his first full season of top level football. Given the opportunity to learn from players like Firmino, Mané and Coutinho and a top class coach like Klopp would see mammoth improvements in his already impressive game.
We already know just how good Klopp is at developing class, young talent so why should Mbappe be any different? With all the raw materials already at his disposal, it’s frightening to think just how good this player could be in a couple of seasons time – especially if given the chance to work with a coach as patient and well versed in developing talent as Jürgen Klopp.
Mbappe would absolutely be a statement signing from Liverpool and most importantly, from Fenway Sports Group. The American owners have reportedly backed Klopp in the transfer windows so far which is fantastic and it’s great to see them softening their hardball approach, however, they are in truth yet to make a real statement signing. Sadio Mané has, of course, been superb and cost a hefty price tag but originally his signature was not met with universal approval across the fan base.
He’ll be costly sure – probably in the £35-40 million pound range – but he fits both the owners and Klopp’s preferred transfer profile perfectly. He’s young, pacy, scores goals, has Champions League experience, plays both up top and on the wing and is the perfect mix of proven talent and potential. If his signature were to be secured, it would surely be met with a hugely positive response from the fan base.
Of course, I’m aware that we shouldn’t overhype the player or get too excited – look at how much Martial has struggled on the whole since moving from Monaco – but there’s something special about Mbappe and with a manager like Klopp to guide him, I’d take him in a heartbeat.