A graphic showing Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar’s assists to each other so far this season has gone viral.
The Paris Saint-Germain forwards are, on paper at least, possibly the scariest front three in world football right now.
All three players have been in scintillating form during the opening weeks of the 2022-23 campaign.
Messi, meanwhile, has 14 goals involvements in 11 games in all competitions so far this term. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is back to his untouchable best following a difficult debut season at the Parc des Princes.
According to WhoScored’s stats, Messi currently boasts the highest average rating of any player in Europe’s top five leagues (8.95).
Neymar is second on the list with a rating of 8.32 followed by Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (8.27), Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (8.13) and then Mbappe (8.04).
Mbappe, Neymar and Messi graphic goes viral
However, a surprising graphic has emerged showing Messi, Neymar and Mbappe’s assists to each other so far this season.
Messi has set up five goals for Mbappe and three for Neymar.
Neymar has set up three goals for Mbappe and two for Messi.
Mbappe, on the other hand, is yet to provide an assist for either of his fellow forwards.
— Out Of Context Football (@nocontextfooty) September 19, 2022
Interesting graphic that shows how many assists each of PSG’s front three have provided one another:— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) September 19, 2022
Lionel Messi: 5 assists to Kylian Mbappé
Kylian Mbappé: 0 assists to Neymar pic.twitter.com/jpwqwTgHDc
This has led to some criticism for Mbappe on social media:
Kylian Mbappe criticism: Harsh or fair?
But is the criticism harsh?
Others have pointed out that Mbappe isn’t necessarily in PSG’s team to assist Messi and Neymar.
He’s the player tasked with getting on the end of Messi and Neymar’s passes by PSG boss Christophe Galtier, using his blistering pace to beat offside traps.
Messi is arguably the greatest goalscorer we’ve ever seen but the 35-year-old appears to be content playing a deeper role and providing chances for his teammates, including Mbappe.
Moreover, there’s surely no doubt that it won’t be long after the international break for Mbappe to register his first assists of the season for both Messi and Neymar.
Accusations that Mbappe is playing selfishly this season do feel unfair and it’s not an opinion that Galtier is likely to share, either.
All three superstars will be acutely aware that working together is the only way they’re going to enjoy success this season – especially in the Champions League.
PSG are desperate to become European champions for the first time and the pressure is on Messi, Neymar and Mbappe’s shoulders this season to ensure that dream finally becomes a reality.