The Kylian Mbappe era at Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain Football Club begins on Friday night in Metz, France, and the Stade Saint-Symphorien where PSG face Philippe Hinschberger’s FC Metz, sitting at the bottom of Ligue 1 without a single point through four matches. The three-pronged attack of Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Neymar will test its cohesion and rhythm against a desperate Metz side whose drop in form will make this game the biggest one in their already sorry season.
“Joining Paris Saint-Germain is a great pleasure for me,” Mbappe said of his move. “The club is extremely ambitious: it’s already one of the best clubs in the world but wants to become the very best. The club doesn’t stop at simply wanting something; it has put everything into place to create a project that is far beyond solid. That’s what made up my mind to sign here.
“It was important for me to stay in France, having played just six months at the highest level. It was important to return home, to the city where I was born and grew up. I think that, with a lot of work, we can reach our objective, which is to win a lot of trophies and make the dream of winning the Champions League a reality.”
“Kylian is the sort of player every coach would like,” said Emery of Mbappe’s budding skill set. “Firstly, he can play as an out-an-out striker, but also on the flanks, left and right. Mbappé is going to contribute his individual quality, and he has enormous potential. He can score goals, set them up, keep possession…All of that will give us more options in attack. I have talked about his position with him, I did that just after he arrived. From my first conversation with Kylian, I felt he loves football. He watches a lot of games, and when you talk about tactics with him, he understands it instinctively.
“He may be 18, but he’s already very mature. With that attitude, he’s going to fit into the squad and the club very well, and with training sessions, he’s going to quickly grasp the ideas behind our play. He sent out a strong signal by choosing to stay in France, and he thinks – as we do – that Paris Saint-Germain is going to grow quite a lot. He wants to write a great story here, alongside us.”
The curtain raises on Sept. 8 at 8:45 p.m. CET/11:45 a.m. PT/2:45 p.m. ET. Our live blog starts at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.