Unai Emery has tipped his former player, Kylian Mbappe, to sign for Real Madrid as Arsenal fans remember the days we were once linked with him, knowing it will be a long time before that happens again.
Given Kylian Mbappe’s talent, it’s clear why Arsene Wenger thought he was worth spending €100m on, even if that money could have been put to much better use across the squad.
As it was, the youngster was not for moving that year, despite a personal visit from Le Professeur, and we all got on with our lives knowing he’d move somewhere the following season and we’d lost our chance.
Off to PSG on loan he went with Unai Emery at the helm in 2017 before join the club permanently as they got rid of Emery the following summer. He cost €145m with an extra €35m to come in add-ons, never mind any potential sell-on fee.
Speaking to Radio Marca, Emery said, “When I was in Paris, Mbappé seriously considered going to Real Madrid because he likes them very much, he was very excited to play for them.”
This set the media in Spain alight as the media in France report that Mbappe’s future should be decided in the ‘coming weeks’.
The 21-year-old currently has 18 months left on his contract and a market value just over €180m, but who knows how much Real Madrid will be willing to pay…
Mbappe: Arsenal was a real option for me but I chose PSG
Back in June, 2018, we brought you the following report:
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.