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Post Kylian era

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It has finally happened. The worst-kept secret in world football is out now as Real Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Kylian Mbappe in the summer on a “free” transfer. We say free because the Frenchman is set to earn north of €150 million in signing bonus over the length of his contract, along with a wage of €15 million/year. Madrid have their superstar, but where do PSG go from here? Here are some Mbappe replacement options for PSG as they enter a “Post-Kylian era”.

Kylian Mbappe replacements at PSG

The first question that needs clarifying is that there is no direct replacement for Mbappe in world football. Los Blancos are getting as close to a guarantee of a future Ballon d’Or winner as is possible in this unpredictable sport.

If he retired tomorrow, he would still be among the top 50 attackers of all time at the very least and he has achieved all that at just 25.

Having said that, Mbappe had his faults as well and for PSG, this is a chance to sort out their wage structure and function as a collective instead of acting at the whims and fancy of one player.

With that out of the picture, here are the top options for PSG to replace Kylian Mbappe-

Victor Osimhen

PSG ideally wanted Mbappe to play as the No 9, something which the Frenchman was never comfortable with as he wanted to play off the left. It caused a lot of consternation in the camp and affected team dynamics with numerous strikers having to accommodate the player’s desire.

The best case scenario then, is for PSG to buy a natural No 9 to replace the outgoing reluctant No 9.

Osimhen exiting Napoli in the summer is a question of when, and not if. In fact, an argument can be made that he should have left last summer at the peak. This season, Napoli are a disaster and Osimhen has tried his best to carry the side from ruins.

Naturally, his numbers have dwindled as the team is not fluent anymore but with a star cast like PSG’s, those should go up. Moreover, his link-up play, hold-up game with his back to the goal, and the ability to be an aerial threat will add a dimension to this PSG attack that it hasn’t had in years since Cavani and Ibrahimovic were the focal points.

Mbappe leaving causes a gap in stardust in the squad but for the overall balance of the team, it can be argued that Osimhen is a better fit.

Marcus Rashford

The only thing that is stopping Marcus Rashford from taking the leap to world-class is his infuriating lack of consistency. It is a sign of things at Old Trafford this season that many fans would gladly take PSG’s money if they were to come for him.

However, things would have been completely different just at the start of this season. Rashford was coming off a sterling season and there was even noise surrounding PSG’s interest.

He ended up signing a new contract but the noise has never gone away. Unlike Osimhen, Rashford would be a more like-for-like replacement for Mbappe in terms of playing style and position.

His main value to PSG, though, as cynical as might sound, lies in his off-field image. Even through all the patches of bad form, Rashford remains an ambassador for doing good through his meals campaign. For a Qatar-backed project that has yearned to stretch its soft power through the game, signing Rashford would be a marketing dream and a huge boost to their profile off the pitch.

The quality is a downgrade on Mbappe but then, who isn’t? It will be more than made up by Rashford changing PSG’s public perception from “bling-bling”.


How do you replace Mbappe? How about you don’t? That is the twist in this tale!

This sounds like a crazy notion, considering Mbappe has been the major source of goals and assists at PSG throughout his spell there.

But there remains an inkling that Mbappe is the solution to the problem his presence creates. What is PSG can harness the collective ability of the squad in a much better way if the players don’t feel the need to “respect the hierarchy” on the pitch.

The status of Mbappe was often memed to exaggeration but there was a grain of truth to it. He was an outlier on the wage structure, in terms of the power he held over the club, and that seeped onto the pitch.

Footages of Mbappe being exasperated by his teammates for not passing him the ball, his scuffles over penalty kicks, and his comments to the media about the club being the one “that divides” hardly went down well with his teammates.

Can you really play to your best with a player who has openly admitted that he has reached a glass ceiling at your club?

As crazy as it might sound, this might actually be a case where taking a 40 goal/season striker out of the team could be a case of addition by subtraction.

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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