Euro 2020 Special
 

Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint Germain: French Romance Headed For Bitter End?

Kylian Mbappe has been one of the pillars of Paris Saint Germain’s dominance in football in France. But, as things stand, the relationship has somehow hit a roadblock.

The World Cup winner, who joined Les Parisiens initially on loan from AS Monaco before completing a full transfer in 2017, has made over 200 appearances for PSG and won 11 major trophies, including four Ligue 1 crowns. So, what’s the problem here?

Salary? Not even the likelihood. Kylian Mbappe, subject to a possible transfer to European champions Real Madrid earlier this year, signed a lucrative three-year contract with PSG in May.

According to some reports, Mbappe’s monthly salary will be approximately £5.21 million per month, which is reduced to £2.34 million after tax. The total contract worth £546 million is the biggest in football history. Indeed, this is not the reason to depart Paris, so why?

A couple of reasons have come out of media discussions, and we briefly highlight a few.

Role in playing formation 

Kylian Mbappe is often seen as someone who enjoys playing on the left wing. Why? Because it gives him the freedom to burst out wide and make goal scoring attempts from outside into the box.

However, unlike previous campaigns where he would play deeper positions, the Frenchman is now forced to play as a lone striker alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar.

This has made him just a loitering figure in the attacking third, where he only waits for opportunities to score or passes through balls to the wing. Additionally, it deprives him of his need to enjoy a free-flowing approach on the field.

If he plays the central role, Mbappe wants to support someone like Olivier Giroud, an outright number nine. This synergy in the France national team has enabled the PSG star to run freely around the box as a number 10.

In the centre-forward position, Kylian Mbappe has registered 15 goals and four assists in 15 games (all competitions). But, with two goals in a solitary game as a left winger, the attacker will aim for opportunities to play out wide on the field.

Civil War in the PSG camp – Mbappe vs Neymar

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have shared some silverware success and have been all smiles as part of some goalscoring fests. But in recent times, the all-smiles image seems to be a facade slowly melting to reveal the true nature of their relationship.

The first signs of a feud between the pair came up in a Ligue 1 clash between PSG and Montpellier on August 13, 2022. Mbappe, who took the first penalty in the 21st minute and missed, appeared visibly frustrated when Neymar took the second penalty opportunity from him and converted it into a goal in the 43rd minute.

The tension was taken off the field as the pair reportedly clashed in the dressing room and required the intervention of Sergio Ramos to break them apart.

Furthermore, Neymar ‘liked’ fan tweets that indicated that Mbappe’s new contract gave him a say in all decisions at the club.

On Kylian Mbappe’s part, the Frenchman has been frustrated with how PSG managed Neymar’s attitude issues and that the club reportedly backed out of a specific agreement when the former signed a new deal. The ‘agreement’ stated that the club would sell Neymar.

 

Final thoughts

Kylian Mbappe, in all, has been one of the most significant contributors to Paris Saint Germain’s success domestically. And, the player knows it quite well.

Despite his frustrations, Mbappe is aware and has adapted to the changes in playing formations and team tactics under the new management.

But mentally, the World Cup winner has decided that he wants to move on from PSG, and now it is to be seen how his peers and the club hierarchy persuade him to continue his adventure in the French capital.

 

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