1998 World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit is concerned that a current French contemporary of his is trying too hard to emulate the football antics and panache of a Brazilian team-mate.
Petit says Kylian Mbappe has become “Neymarised” at Paris Saint-Germain with the World Cup winner befuddling himself trying to be like Neymar. The former France international believes Mbappe – also a France international and a World Cup winner – certainly does not need to walk in the footsteps of others as he is already a global superstar in his own right and by his own merits. At just 22 years of age he has already collected three Ligue 1 titles, had a Champions League final appearance and claimed a global crown of the highest international glory for his country.
Mbappe, a prolific scorer of goals at domestic and international level, has been on target on 104 occasions through 142 appearances for PSG. Of late, however, he is considered to have gone off his usual mark, having drawn another blank drawn in a 1-1 stalemate with Saint-Etienne the last time out eliciting a comment from new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino that the French forward “needs to improve” as part of a new era in the French capital.
Petit shares the same sentiments, with the 1998 World Cup winner believing that an exciting talent like Mbappe has become overly obsessed with adding new tricks to his repertoire to enable him to razzle and dazzle as Neymar often does, except that his strengths are obviously mainifested in different areas of play.
Petit told RMC Sport:
“Apart from the problems related to his physique and possibly his mind, I have the impression that he has become entangled in his brain and that he needs to take a step back and regenerate himself.
“But it happens to all players.”
“He has a body expression that doesn’t seem positive to me. I have the feeling that he is ‘Neymarised’, that he wants to do what Neymar does on the pitch when he does not have the qualities of Neymar at all.
“I also have the impression that his opponents have analyzed his main quality, speed. The real quality of this boy is to play on spontaneity and not to take the lead.”
PSG, who now sit second in Ligue 1 as they seek to defend their domestic crown, will be back in action on Saturday at home to Brest, with Mbappe needing to step up in that contest as Neymar is sidelined with an ankle injury.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia