Thierry Henry has hailed Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe, the player tipped to emulate his own achievements, as a brilliant talent.
Numerous football figures, including France head coach Didier Deschamps, have drawn similarities between teenage sensation Mbappe and Henry, who also started his career at Monaco.
The 18-year-old has scored 19 goals for Monaco in what has been his breakthrough season and made his France debut against Luxembourg last week, becoming Les Bleus’ youngest player for over 60 years.
Henry was reluctant to compare Mbappe with himself but did not hold back in his praise of the forward, whose club team-mate Fabinho has tipped him for a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
“I don’t like comparing players – Mbappe has to become Mbappe and that is all,” Henry said to Canal Plus.
“But my word, he is good. Ooh la la. l really like watching him play.”
18 – Kylian Mbappe (18 yo & 95 days) has become the youngest international since Wisniewski v Sweden in 1955 (18 yo & 61 days). Early. pic.twitter.com/4VFgQrRMp7
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 25, 2017
Asked what he would teach Mbappe as a coach, Henry added: “When you have kid with that much talent, what are you going to teach him apart from a few tactical things?
“So it is more [about saying] develop your brain and become a killer. Develop your brain, your intelligence and your movement. What can you see? When you watch a match, don’t just watch the ball, watch the movement off the ball.
“Understand quickly who is weak in the match, who you should attack and who you shouldn’t attack, how to attack this player and understand all of that.”
13 – Mbappe is the youngest player to score 13 goals in Ligue 1 for 30 years (18 yo & 3 m), ahead of…Thierry Henry (19 yo & 3 m). Pupil. pic.twitter.com/4lhEcBjtNZ
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) March 19, 2017
Henry thinks the fact Mbappe is already displaying signs of impressive footballing intelligence is evidence he will reach the very top.
“I met him and he gave me the impression that he has a good head on his shoulders,” added the former Arsenal and Barcelona star.
“There is a thing that annoys me sometimes. We talk about players, ‘He is quick, he is strong, he can jump high’. We never talk about players’ brains and that annoys me.
“When I watch him dribble, he is thinking. He thinks when he plays and that for me is the most important thing in a player. He thinks. He uses his brain.
“Yes, he is quick, but he is thinking and that is the sign of a kid who can go a long way in the game.”
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