Arsene Wenger has revealed that he approached Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe last season but pulled out because of interest from bigger clubs, Mirror reports.
The 18-year-old striker has been a top performer for the French side this season, having scored 13 goals in 31 games for them. This has attracted interest from both Manchester clubs and Arsenal.
“I approached him last year because I really believe he has an exceptional future ahead of him.” Wenger said in his Lincoln pre-match conference.
“Unfortunately today, all these young players are in full view from very, very early on and all the big clubs want them. I hope the fact that everybody is already talking of nobody but him isn’t going to have a negative impact on his future.”
Mbappe has drawn comparisons to a young Thierry Henry do his explosive style of play and Wenger believes they do not fall far from the mark.
“He reminds me of a young Thierry Henry with the same clever look about him. They have the same qualities of intelligence in his movement and finishing.”
Arsenal have been criticised recently for lacking effort in off-the-ball situations and Mbappe certainly looks to hold characteristics that might solve this problem. There is little, however, in Wenger statements that suggests such a deal happening at this time.
Following another disappointing night in Europe, Arsenal are now preparing to take on non-league side Lincoln in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The match is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm on Saturday.