Mbappe’s tribute to Neymar as strikeforce heads for Parkhead

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Metz. Picture:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain in action against Metz. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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As an 18-year-old with a £166 million price tag on his shoulders, it would be perfectly understandable if Paris Saint-Germain’s talented young superstar Kylian Mbappe allowed fame to go to his head. But the former Monaco forward insists he’s thinking only of having fun when he steps onto the pitch and plays with Neymar.

PSG unleashed their remarkable four-man strikeforce, costing a staggering £450 million to assemble, on Friday. For that kind of money, you get your pick of the cream of world-class attacking talent and Mbappe marked his debut with a goal in a 5-1 win at Metz.

Celtic will somehow have to find a way to stop their attacking foursome of Mbappe, Neymar, Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani – three of them netted against Metz.

Metz provided sturdy resistance on Friday, but were eventually blown away by the rapid movement and one-touch guile of a forward line surely incomparable in today’s game.

Mbappe admitted he loved teaming up with former Barcelona icon Neymar, who also moved to the French capital in a record-breaking £198m move.

He said: “It’s easy to play with Neymar. I only had one training session with him before this game, but it was simple to play alongside him. He’s a player who turns you into a better player. He’s at the very top of world football. He is the type of player who wins you titles. I am playing with great players and, given time, I hope I can evolve into a top player, too.

“As long as we have enough cover in defence, we are allowed to go and do beautiful things. The coach wants us to be free and go and express ourselves. We have to keep it going against Celtic. We will have to be on top of our game all the time.”

French international Adrien Rabiot reckons the arrival of Mbappe and Neymar will take PSG on to a different level because of their attacking options.

Rabiot said: “There will certainly be a bit of a traffic jam up top, but that is something that the coach and the club will look at.

“What is certain is that we are going to have many different options with Neymar, Edinson, Kylian and the other attackers we already have. Neymar and Kylian, in particular, can play in three attacking roles – left, right and even in the middle. Do we now have the best attack in club football? That might already have been the case before Kylian’s arrival. But now it is certain – PSG will boast one of the best attacks in the world.

“However, more exciting, at least for me, is how young the new recruits are. Neymar could stay at the top for another seven or eight years and Kylian over 10 or more. PSG have moved to a new level. Over the past year, one cycle ended and new life had to be breathed into the project. Players like Marco Verratti, Marquinhos and myself, several young players, were asking ourselves questions about the club’s future.

“We are ambitious, we want to target the Champions League, we want to reach as high as possible and do not want to miss our chance. Now, we have the answers to our questions and it has become very difficult to have any doubts.”