Emmanuel Petit says that Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappe is ahead of where Thierry Henry was at a similar stage of his development.
Mbappe, who turned 18 in December, made his debut for France against Luxembourg last Friday and then started in the 2-0 defeat to Spain on Tuesday following an electric run of form with Monaco, where Henry made his name.
Among his first team-mates was Petit, and the pair were reunited once again at Arsenal, so the World Cup winner is well placed to judge the qualities of both players, who have been regularly held in comparison in recent months.
"The two have very similar profiles in terms of where they play, their explosiveness, their physical power, the way they carry the ball,” the former Arsenal midfielder confirmed to RMC.
“I think that Mbappe is ahead of Thierry Henry when it comes to using the ball when he's moving with it.
“Many players only use the power of their speed. He’ll take the ball, knock it beyond an opponent and run in behind, which is not at all what Mbappe does.
“Mbappe runs intelligently. He'll go into the space that develops and he'll always try to avoid a direct confrontation with his marker. I find that where he's ahead of Thierry Henry, but it was difficult in the context of the Spain match.
“But he must take away the positives. I really want to see him again in the France team soon.”
Henry only made his Ligue 1 debut a fortnight before his 19th birthday, Mbappe, however, is nine months younger and has already played 33 times in France’s top tier, scoring 13 times and adding a further nine assists.