The 23 women who’ll represent Australia at the upcoming Cup of Nations have today been unveiled, as new Matildas coach Ante Milicic faced the media for the first time since his controversial replacement of Alen Stajcic.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
When Kylian Mbappé scored a hat-trick for Monaco in December last year at the tender age of 17, it was at that moment the football world opened their eyes and took notice.
26 goals later, the young Frenchman is tipped to be the next Thierry Henry. With the extraordinary talent he possesses, it’s easy to see why.
He has been heavily linked with a staggering $210 million move to Real Madrid which would be the second highest transfer fee in history. For a now 18-year-old who has only played six months of first tier football shows how mature he is.
Now it comes down to a young and inexperienced player to practically choose his next destination, but which club would suit him best?
First off, I’ll begin by saying that now is the right time for Mbappe to move on from the Principality. Seeing as Monaco have sold their star names such as Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Tiémoué Bakayoko, it should make him realise that bigger and better things await as he needs a bigger challenge.
A knee injury late in the second half in the opening game of the season against Toulouse on Saturday will make him think twice about turning down a chance to sign for either Real Madrid or Barcelona as injuries happen in football. This is an opportunity that doesn’t arise for many.
Real Madrid have been in negotiations for Mbappé’s signature for seemingly this whole transfer window. It would be cruel on the club to have the player turn them down, but Mbappé would be making the right decision if he does choose to look elsewhere.
With the World Cup just around the corner, the Frenchman has been given chances under Didier Deschamps. This should be his primary focus heading into this new season because he has every possible chance of gaining a starting berth.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale dominating the front three, it will be hard for Mbappé to get consistent playing time under Zidane. Will he settle in? Will he succumb under the pressure of the fans? Who will drop to the bench if Mbappé does manage to start? These are all questions that need to be answered.
At Barcelona however, Mbappé would find it easy to slot into the front three with Messi and Suarez after the departure of Neymar to PSG. A tactical change may be required as Mbappé and Suarez are both out and out strikers, which may lead to the new manager reverting to a 4-3-2-1 with Messi filling the number 10 role.
For me, he would take the club by storm and send a message to the rest of the world that they are ready to bring in the youth in exchange for the old for the likes of Andreas Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
If he makes the move to the Catalan club, learning off Luis Suarez would be more beneficial than playing with any of the front three in the Madrid capital. This would make Mbappé an even more clinical finisher and improve on certain weaknesses in his game, most notably his defensive contribution and work rate, something that it is hammered into Suarez’s game.
If Barcelona are able to add a few more players to their squad for the purpose of depth, then they can really challenge once again for the Champions league which will give Mbappé a great chance of cementing his spot at next year’s World Cup.
This kid is destined for greatness, and it will be interesting to see if he can match the heights of the Brazilian Ronaldo in the near future. In a few years time when Messi and Ronaldo hang up the boots, Neymar could be facing some competition for the Ballon’dor award. In order to do that, he needs to choose Barcelona as his next home.
It’s your move, Kylian.