Kylian Mbappe admits he strongly considered a move to Arsenal last summer, evaluating all the advantages and disadvantages before eventually deciding on Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappe-to-Arsenal was one of the big stories of the 2017 summer, along with Lemar and Lacazette. In the end, the club only signed one of the three, leaving supporters in doubt that they were ever after the other two in the first place. Instead, Mbappe joined PSG for £166m, a transfer fee that Arsenal undoubtedly would’ve struggled to afford.
Despite all that, Mbappe has now confirmed the stories were all true. He even spoke with Arsene Wenger, who was seemingly the biggest draw from an Arsenal point of view.
“I met Arsene Wenger, who is a great coach,” the young forward said. “He has a great reputation here in France, he is respected and knows how to develop young players. Arsenal was a real option for me. We evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of all the clubs, but my family told me it was my decision, and I decided to come to PSG.”
In the end, Arsenal were just unfortunate they were competing with the one club that had almost every advantage possible over them. Mbappe was born in Paris, so joining them would feel like returning home. He’s French, so playing in France gave him the best chance of making the national team.
PSG are rich, so they could pay him what he wanted, and Monaco what they wanted. Plus they’re playing in the Champions League, and win the Ligue 1 title almost every year, so that’s guaranteed exposure on the biggest stage and trophies in the bank.
Arsenal had Arsene Wenger and the certainty of game time, and that was at least enough to make the now 19-year-old consider the Gunners. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for him to join.