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Post Mbappe era

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Can you really replace a player on his way to becoming the best in the world, if not already there? That’s the question facing PSG as they seek a Kylian Mbappe replacement.

Mbappe shook the world of football with a single letter to PSG, confirming his intention to not extend his contract.

Consequently, PSG have made it clear that they won’t lose their biggest asset on a free transfer, so they have transfer listed the player.

Al-Hilal have already set the process underway with an outrageous bid of €300 million which is likely to be rejected at the player’s end.

Meanwhile, PSG will hope to extract as much money as possible from any possible suitors so they can find a Kylian Mbappe replacement with a healthy pocket.

Here are the top three options they can look towards as the ideal Kylian Mbappe replacement-

Harry Kane

Harry Kane wants to win trophies. At PSG, a player is pretty much guaranteed the four domestic ones every season. Then comes the Champions League. Despite the ridicule the club has faced for its performances in Europe’s premier club competition, PSG’s performances have actually improved, losing a final in 2021/22.

Any marquee signing that pushes them over that hump is going to immortalise himself at Parc des Princes.

Under Luis Enrique, Kane can rest easy thinking that his professional demeanour won’t be out of place in a team where player power culture was questionable at best before the coach’s arrival.

He will slot straight into the striker’s spot, one which Mbappe has been reticent in filling. PSG will have a better team balance as Kane is a hard worker off the ball as well.

Of course, the prestige of Ligue 1 might turn Kane off from a potential move. But from a sporting and financial perspective, it makes perfect sense for both parties. Kane is the ideal Kylian Mbappe replacement in terms of pure quality.

Randal Kolo Muani

PSG have slowly started to move towards a homegrown policy of having a French core in the side.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani is arguably the best French player currently not at an elite club. 23 goals and 17 assists in 46 appearances across all competitions tell their own story, but it is his overall style of play and age profile which makes him such a complete package.

He comes from Bondy, the same place as Mbappe, and was schooled at FC Nantes. A French international at 24, Kolo Muani is as close to an archetypal modern striker as one can possibly get.

He is clinical, possesses a creative streak, is a willing defender from the front, and is versatile positionally.

He is the kind of player who gives the coach many options to set his team up while being efficient in every option.

Having the best French players in the team should be a source of pride for the best French club and there aren’t many better than Randal Kolo Muani on the market.

Victor Osimhen

After Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis slapped a price tag north of €150 million on the Nigerian striker, it looked like Osimhen was set to stay at Naples.

However, if PSG get the money they desire for Kylian Mbappe, then the asking price for Osimhen will look like a drop in the ocean for the Parisiens.

The French champions have had a longstanding interest in Osimhen, so the due diligence will have already been done. Negotiating with the hard-minded Laurentiis was always going to be the tough part.

Armed with the Mbappe transfer fee, that roadblock will soothe itself over.

In terms of fit at the club, it is as clear as Harry Kane and Randal Kolo Muani. As a conventional striker, he will provide a focal point for Luis Enrique. A hard worker up front in the mould of a proper Luis Enrique striker, he will slot straight in on the No 9 spot and make PSG better.

Wild card- Rasmus Hojlund

In terms of player quality, Atalanta’s Hojlund is a raw prospect, nowhere near the current quality of the likes of Kane and Osimhen.

However, in terms of pure potential, he has shown that he has a ceiling which can take him beyond the elite players.

At just 20 years old, the advanced statistics love him. He has the raw tools to become a complete forward, efficient in every facet of forward play.

He can finish chances at a good rate, drop deep to link up play, get on the end of crosses due to being an aerial threat, and is also a good presser from the front.

Under the right tutelage and in the right environment, he can transform into one of the world’s best No 9s.

PSG will have a hard time getting this deal done although the interest is there. The player reportedly prefers a move to Manchester United instead. However, if they can convince him, then they might sort their CF position out for the next decade and beyond.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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