Not convincing Kylian Mbappe to sign for the club is the ‘biggest disappointment’ of his 15-year Gunners career, says former Arsenal scout

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not convincing Kylian Mbappe to sign for the club is the ‘biggest disappointment’ of his 15-year Gunners career.

A former Arsenal scout says that not convincing Kylian Mbappe to sign for the club is the ‘biggest disappointment’ of his 15-year Gunners career.

 

Arsenal were one of many clubs linked with signing the French forward following his breakout season at Monaco in 2016/17, but he opted to move to PSG.

 

The £163million deal still makes Mbappe the second-most expensive footballer of all-time, and he’s gone onto become one of the best players in the world with 233 goals and 100 assists in 282 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions.

 

The 25-year-old was also pivotal to France’s World Cup triumph in 2018 and run to the final in 2022, and he’s now his country’s captain.

 

But his career could have taken a different path had he moved to the Emirates before his breakout campaign – a transfer that apparently very nearly happened.

 

‘I don’t know whether Kylian Mbappe is a realistic target for Arsenal, even if the club wins the Premier League and has a strong season in Europe. We tried to convince him before, in 2016,’ former Gunners scout Gilles Grimandi exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone.

 

‘We met his parents in London who came to the training ground and alongside Arsene [Wenger, then manager] and Richard Law [then transfer chief] we travelled to meet Kylian in the South of France.

 

We tried to convince him, but I don’t think it was the best time for us; that meeting took place the day after we’d just lost to Swansea at home in the League, which itself followed a defeat at Old Trafford.

 

‘I remember we had a big game away just three days later against Tottenham, so the timing was not ideal. We tried, and I really don’t think we were far from getting him, but he declined the project and signed a new deal with Monaco.

 

‘I’d say it is probably the biggest disappointment in my 15 years as an Arsenal scout, not convincing Kylian Mbappe to sign for the club.’

 

Mbappe could be on the move again next summer when his contract with PSG expires and it is expected that he will seal a long-mooted transfer to Real Madrid, though nothing is guaranteed.

 

‘Kylian is the kind of player who can change a club, that’s for sure,’ Grimandi, who also played for Arsenal from 1997 to 2002, added.

 

‘There aren’t so many of those players in the world, it might happen once in your life as a scout or as a manager; signing someone who changes your club, and we just missed out on Mbappe all those years ago.  

 

Looking ahead, the best clubs in the world, in which you have to include the English trio of Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, should all be trying to sign him because he’s a very special talent, and there’s a great opportunity for someone to sign him on a free transfer. 

 

‘However, my instinct is that he has a love for Real Madrid and also we have to remember that PSG will be very keen that he remains in Paris, so I do not believe he will arrive at Arsenal, but it would be great if he did of course. 

 

‘It would be quite something to see Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe playing in the same division, especially if Mbappe was playing at Arsenal.’

 

Source: Metro

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