Kylian Mbappe has been one of the unbridled success stories of the 2016/17 season. His emergence into an exciting Monaco side has set tongues wagging from some of Europe’s biggest clubs and transformed him into the hottest young property in the game.
Having scored 15 goals to help Monaco claim their first league title since 2003, he capped off a stunning debut season by being named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Arsenal are all said to be keeping tabs on his situation as the summer transfer window approaches, but the man himself is taking a much more measured approach to the rumours linking him with such prestigious clubs.
Instead of getting carried away with the speculation, he has instead highlighted his desire to keep his feet on the ground and continue to build on what he has started this season.
But furthermore, he’s aware that having announced himself on the world stage, he now needs to do it again to ensure he doesn’t become another player who wasn’t able to capitalise on his extraordinary potential.
“I will make a choice based on my sporting career, and my career is first and foremost. I am at an age where I need to play, and that will be paramount,” he told beIN Sports (via Sky Sports).
“I’m not 35 or 36, an age where I have to manage [my body]. I still have everything to learn – this year was discovery, and now comes the most important step: confirmation.
“I will be the sole decision-maker, and I will not go anywhere where I will be forced to go.”
Mbappe has since earned international honours with the senior France national team, and he has insisted that a place in the squad at next summer’s World Cup won’t take priority in his decision-making process.
“It will not matter. The pressure… I always had it, I learned to handle it, I got used to it and it’s part of my environment.
“It doesn’t disrupt me, or my family, or the club.”
And reflecting on his magnificent season with the principality club, he added: “In football, everything is possible from the moment you work and you believe in your qualities.
“I always believed in myself. It wasn’t enough to want to – you have to give yourself the means [to succeed]. I didn’t know it was going to happen so fast, but I knew I wanted to do it.”