The glamour time against Barcelona was a game changer in altering the perception of Kylian Mbappe.
He appeared to hit a bump in his progression. He was not playing well, was being less efficient in front of goal, and with too many irregularities.
The Barcelona game brought out the best in him: A fast and clinical striker, who is more efficient on the wing, who can be a team player and a key player in big games.
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Is Kylian Mbappe already seen as the best player in the world in France? Are there any improvements he can make to his game?
He is seen as the best French player, but probably not the best in the world.
As Antoine Griezmann said: “He will surely be at Messi or Ronaldo’s level”- but he’s not there yet.
Good news is that even though he’s excellent when he plays like he did yesterday, there are still improvements he can make. Especially his finishing and his heading, which is key if he is to become the complete striker he aspires to become.
On the technical side, maybe he’s trying too much to be like Neymar in the sense that he was attempting complicated and useless tricks during games which were not helpful and are not in the essence of his game.
There was also some criticism about the fact that he relied too much on his speed, and did not adapt his style of play enough to different situations. Once again, all of that was put into perspective by Tuesday’s game.
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Mbappe seems to have more freedom without Neymar on the pitch. Does he perform better without Neymar?
Freedom I’m not sure, but he has had more responsibility. The connection between the two players is still one of the deadliest in Europe and there’s no doubt both players are better with each other on the pitch. The key for Mbappe is to acknowledge he’s not Neymar, and is not necessarily expected to be create chances, but be at the end of them.
Would Mbappe have put in the same performance had Neymar been on the pitch? He definitely proved he can be PSG’s offensive leader when the Brazilian’s not here. When Neymar comes back, it will be interesting to see how his game gets impacted.
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Will Mbappe leave this summer?
The situation seems quite clear. Either Mbappe extends his contract in the coming weeks/months, or he’ll be leaving this summer.
He has said many times lately he would like to stay in Paris, but he needs proof that the club has ambition and wants to make him the key player of the project.
The financial situation at Real Madrid might also be a reason why Mbappe is closer to staying in Paris. The hat-trick and what he said after the game (“I have always wanted to give my best with PSG, it’s a club and a shirt which both mean a lot to me”) gave the impression he wants to be the club leader in the years to come.
So far, there are no other options but a big one for PSG: Messi.
What changes has boss Mauricio Pochettino made – if any – since his appointment?
He hasn’t changed a lot of things, but he has put Marco Verratti higher on the pitch, which proved to be an excellent idea given the performance of the Italian against Barca.
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