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Mbappé has been described by Arsène Wenger as a “huge football talent” who “has similarities to Thierry Henry”. His talent and precocious performances for France at the 2018 World Cup also led him to be compared to Pelé in the media. A versatile forward, Mbappé often plays as a winger, and is capable of playing on either flank, due to his ability with either foot. He is capable of cutting into the centre onto his stronger right foot from the left wing, and is also capable of creating chances and providing assists for teammates from the right due to his vision. He is also able to play in the centre as a main striker, due to his composure, clinical finishing, and eye for goal. A highly skilful player, Mbappé is also known for his excellent dribbling ability, as well as his explosive acceleration, agility, quick feet, and creativity when in possession of the ball, as demonstrated by his use of elaborate feints, such as step overs, or sudden changes of pace or direction to beat opponents in one on one situations. In spite of his tall lean frame, he is also an athletic player, gifted with physical strength. In addition to his technical skills, Mbappé is also highly regarded for his outstanding pace and close ball control when dribbling at speed, as well as his intelligent movement and ability to beat the defensive line by making attacking runs into space both on and off the ball; his ability to time his runs enables him to stretch opposing defences, and also make him a dangerous offensive threat on counter-attacks. Regarding Mbappé’s ability to run at defences, former France international Nicolas Anelka stated, “He reminds me of Ronaldo of the 1996 Olympics. He has the characteristics of a world-class player and he must manage them properly. If he follows Ronaldo’s career, ‘O Phenomenon’, he will be one of the legends that has made history in the sport.” When Stefan de Vrij, central defender for Inter Milan and the Netherlands, was asked of his toughest opponent, he placed Mbappé ahead of anyone else, including Mbappé’s childhood idol Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2018 Mbappé was considered the world’s most expensive player from a transfer value perspective by the CIES. Mbappé’s usual goal celebration, – posing with his arms crossed and hands tucked under his armpits – which he performed after scoring in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, was inspired by his younger brother Ethan, who would celebrate in this manner when beating Kylian at FIFA.
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On 31 August 2017, Paris Saint-Germain announced the signing of Mbappé from Monaco on loan. The fee required for a subsequent full transfer was set at a rumoured €145 million plus €35 million in add-ons, making him the most expensive teenager ever, the most expensive transfer ever within a domestic league, and potentially the second most expensive player ever, behind teammate Neymar. He was handed the number 29 shirt upon arrival in the French capital. He scored on his debut on 8 September in a 5–1 Ligue 1 win at Metz, in which Benoît Assou-Ekotto was sent off for fouling him. Four days later, Mbappé recorded his first European goal for Les Parisiens in a 5–0 UEFA Champions League group stage away defeat of Celtic. He starred in PSG’s 3–0 victory over Bayern Munich in the second group game of the Champions League, setting up goals for Edinson Cavani and Neymar, the latter seeing him taking out a defender with a feint by rolling the ball under his foot. On 6 December, Mbappé scored his 10th Champions League goal in a 3–1 defeat to Bayern Munich and became the youngest player to reach that mark at the age of 18 years and 11 months. Having won his first league title with the club, on 8 May 2018, Mbappé played as PSG won 2–0 against Les Herbiers VF to clinch the 2017–18 Coupe de France. In July 2018, Mbappé was given the number 7 jersey for the upcoming season with PSG, taking up the squad number vacated by Lucas Moura. Sporting the hashtag #K7LIAN, Mbappé stated, “I keep trying to progress on the pitch and I think that, for me, it was the right time to change number. It is something of an affirmation. The No. 7 shirt is a legendary one and many greats have worn it. I hope that I will be able to do this number justice on the pitch.” In his first appearance of the season, Mbappé scored twice in the last 10 minutes as PSG won 3–1 against Guingamp in Ligue 1. In the following league game, the front three of Mbappé, Cavani and Neymar all scored in a 3–1 win over Angers at home, with Mbappé – starting his first game of the season – scoring from a volley and setting up Neymar to score the third. On 1 September, he scored and assisted in a 4–2 away win over Nîmes, but was sent off for the first time in his career with a straight red card in injury time, after shoving Téji Savanier in retaliation for a late challenge from behind, for which Savanier was also sent off. Regarding his sending-off, Mbappé told reporters after the match, “If I had the chance to do it over again, I would do the same thing. I will apologise to the supporters and everybody, but I cannot tolerate this sort of thing.” On 8 October, Mbappé scored four goals in just 13 minutes in a 5–0 home victory over Lyon and became the youngest player (19 years and 9 months) to score four goals in one game in Ligue 1 over the last 45 seasons. On 3 December, Mbappé was the inaugural winner of the Kopa Trophy, which is awarded by France Football to the best player in the world under the age of 21. On 19 January 2019, Mbappé was one of two players (the other being Cavani) to score a hat-trick in a 9–0 win over Guingamp, breaking a record PSG set the previous season. On 2 March, he scored twice in a 2–1 away win over Caen; his second goal of the match, which came from a penalty, was his 50th for the club. On 12 March 2019, he scored the 2nd goal in a 0–4 away win against Dijon FCO in Ligue 1. PSG finished the season as Ligue 1 champions, with Mbappé winning the Player of the Year award, while also finishing the season as the top goalscorer with 33 goals.