Kylian Mbappe is a “more mature” player than Thierry Henry was at the same age, former Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has suggested.
Garde is noted as something of a specialist at bringing through talented young players, having introduced the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir to Lyon’s first team, and he sees something special in the Monaco striker, who has exploded onto the world scene since Christmas.
The 18-year-old, meanwhile, has frequently drawn comparisons to Arsenal legend Henry, and the former OL boss has backed those suggestions.
“So far he reminds me of Thierry [Henry]. Maybe he is more mature in his game already than Thierry was at the same time,” he told The Guardian. “When you consider what Thierry went on to achieve in the game it is amazing.”
Manchester United have reportedly had a bid worth €85 million for the forward rejected and Garde believes Mbappe would be best served ignoring transfer rumours at the moment.
“The advice would be to stay focused and not to forget you have everything at the moment in Monaco to become a better player. You have time in future to choose and change everything in your football life,” he said.
“If Mbappé is playing well it’s partly because alongside him is [Radamel] Falcao, a very experienced player. He has a very well-balanced team around him and a good manager. Football is very fragile. We have seen gifted players have a very good start who choose not to concentrate any more on football and focus on advertising or media or choose the wrong clubs at the wrong time.
“If you can, stay concentrated only on football, please. Don’t forget you are only 18. Keep your dream of when you were a child, and try to forget everything around you when you are on the pitch. Realise what an opportunity it is to play in such a good collective team.”
Mbappe will be part of the Monaco side that faces Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday evening, having scored 24 times this season, including five in seven outings in Europe’s elite competition.