Fernando Morientes believes Kylian Mbappe will one day become a Real Madrid player, but claims he still has a lot to prove before he is ready to step up to the level the La Liga and Champions League winners are currently at.
Los Blancos were expected to push hard for the French teen sensation’s signature this summer, but instead he stayed in his homeland, choosing instead to join brilliant Brazilian Neymar at French giants Paris Saint-Germain, initially on a season-long loan from Monaco with an option to buy at the end of the campaign.
At the Parc des Princes the pair are already laying the foundations for a lethal partnership, in addition to Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani. The trio have scored 16 of the Parisiens’ 26 goals in seven games in all competitions so far this term.
After Neymar sensationally left Barcelona in a world record €222 million (Dh974.7bn) deal at the start of August, Mbappe caused a stir when he followed the Brazilian to the French capital at the end of the month – with a future fee rumoured to be set at €180m (Dh790.3m).
Despite the shock move, former Real and Monaco striker Morientes does not see it as a blunder by chiefs at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Of course there’s always so many teams to which players can go. But at the end of the day, with the great season Real Madrid had, this year they were not in need of hiring too many players,” said Morientes, 41, who scored 99 goals in 261 games during two spells with Real, as well as 22 in 42 games during a season on loan at the Stade Louis II as the club from the French Riviera made the 2004 Champions League final.
Morientes was speaking in Abu Dhabi at a La Liga Experiences seminar hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup taking place in the Emirates in December.
And he expects 18-year-old Mbappe to one day feature in the famous white of Madrid, but insists he still has to improve as a player.
“Kylian now has the opportunity to show the world his talent and keep on improving his level,” he added.
“In order to play in Real Madrid you have to be one of the top players around. He can demonstrate that he can eventually play in Real Madrid.”
With PSG boasting a strike force the envy of world football, Morientes also expects Mbappe to play a key role in transforming Unai Emery’s side into Champions League contenders this season.
“Paris Saint-Germain is clearly one of the favourite candidates to win it,” he said.
“However, in order to reach the level Real Madrid is at, at present, you need to not only get good players, but to make them play as a team. So this is the challenge they will have. But definitely, they are one of the main candidates to be champions.”
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