France head coach Didier Deschamps hopes Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe can follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry after handing the 18-year-old his maiden call-up for the national side.
Mbappe has been in superb form in recent months and played a key role in Monaco’s Champions League win over Manchester City, scoring in both legs.
He has often been compared to Henry due to their similar style of play and Deschamps hopes the gifted youngster will enjoy a similar career.
“I wish Kylian to have the same career as Thierry Henry. Titi was very mature as a youngster, but I think Kylian is also a mature player,” Deschamps said at a media conference.
“Kylian has made the squad because he has shown over the past few months that he has the quality. Quality has no age.
“Everyone will ask if this is the right moment, but I am looking forward to seeing him with the group, he has a very specific skillset. Other youngsters have walked this path before him and I think this is the right moment for him.
“What makes him such a strong player, apart from his ability, is the way he always remains calm. That is very rare for someone his age.”
10/5 – Kylian Mbappé (10g;5a) and Florian Thauvin (10g;5a) are the only players in Ligue 1 2016/17 with 10+ goals and 5+ assists. New. pic.twitter.com/kbsRTcObhU
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 16, 2017
Whereas Mbappe was one of the new faces in Deschamps’ squad on Thursday, Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette was unfortunate to miss out despite his fine form in 2016-17.
“Lacazette is one of the players who could have made the squad,” Deschamps added.
“He has been performing well, but I have to make some difficult choices. I can only tell him to keep going, even though I understand that he must be disappointed.
“But I have to make choices. We have a lot of attackers and I cannot include all of them.”
France play Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier next Saturday, before hosting Spain in a high-profile friendly on March 28.
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