Karim Benzema has urged striking sensation Kylian Mbappe to think twice about making a big money move to a foreign league so early into his first-team playing career.
The Monaco ace has been a revelation for the Ligue 1 side this term, plundering 19 goals in all competitions including two goals in the French club's Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City.
Mbappe has seen his name linked with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona due to his scintillating displays this season but, in comments made to RMC (via the London Evening Standard) Real Madrid striker Benzema issued caution to the 18-year-old over leaving his current club for the riches of other leagues.
Benzema knows all about the pitfalls of moving to a big club at a young age - the France international trading Lyon for Real in 2009 - and admitted the 18-year-old could find it difficult to settle wherever he went.
He said: "I've been told he is a phenomenon, a very good player. Honestly, I still haven't seen him. He's a young player. Football is really hard, especially at big clubs. I arrived at Madrid at 21. I had already done a lot of things at Lyon, but when I got here I got a slap in the face.
"My first year was too difficult. You're far from your family, it's not the same. Those who are next to you are there to take your place. It's very difficult. But from what people have said, he's a very good player, and I hope he'll have a great career, little by little.
"I think you mustn't leave too soon. Things go well, but the day when it goes less well, that's the problem. He's 18, how do you handle it when it doesn't go as well, when people don't speak as well about you, when you're put under pressure?"
Mbappe has notched 20 goals in 46 first-team appearances for Monaco ever since he broke into the side in February 2016.
His form in 2016/17 led to Les Bleus' manager Didier Deschamps handing him his first senior international call-up for March's international fixtures, and Mbappe could make his debut in the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg on Saturday.
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