Emmanuel Petit sees similarities between Kylian Mbappe and Bukayo Saka, in the way both young forwards get treated physically by opponents.
However, Petit stresses the difference between the two is that it ‘impossible’ to catch the Paris Saint-Germain star when he’s in full flight.
Anyone who does try to catch them will experience the same level of frustration someone trying to catch a fish will experience without a rod by their side… according to Petit.
“When you look at Saka with Arsenal, he was complaining about protection from referees and it’s the same with Mbappe in France and everywhere he goes,” Petit told talkSPORT.com with Lord Ping.
“The opponents always try to pull him down, try to put a physical impact all the time but you can not catch him, he’s like a fish! Like fishing with your hands, it’s impossible to catch him.
“This guy is so fast you have no idea. I was so close to him sometimes during games [as a pundit] and the quality of his feet, the turning of his feet are phenomenal.
“When I look at Salah and Mane at Liverpool, they’ve got pace, they are fast, they’ve got the velocity and are fit all the time. But Mbappe, there are few players in the world who can reproduce the sprints he’s doing with high intensity.
“You can not catch him, it’s impossible, you can not catch him… you need to have two or three players on him, you need to read the space behind you.”
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It’s felt that there’s so much more to come from this precocious 23-year-old, who already boasts four Ligue 1 titles and a World Cup winners’ medal.
Mbappe looks set to make the next big step in his career with a free transfer to Real Madrid in the summer seemingly on the cards.
Petit is hopeful the player, who reminds him of Arsenal and France icon Thierry Henry, will have a change of heart and stay in Paris, but warns PSG will feel the effects of Mbappe leaving.
Petit adds that not only would PSG be losing one of their best players, but they’d also be losing a strong character in the dressing room that many of his teammates rely on.
“He reminds me so much of Thierry Henry in terms of some of his qualities,” Petit added.
“To be honest I’m surprised every single weekend by him.
“There are also similarities between him and Saka with what happened after Euro 2020. They received so much criticism and anger after the tournament but they have shown so much maturity on and off the pitch.
“At the beginning of the season Mbappe was booed by his own fans, week after week. He kept his mouth shut and said ‘I’ll be there’ and he’s been there ever since the beginning.
“He talks but then he does things on the pitch where 90 per cent of the dressing room in Paris Saint-Germain are leading behind him. He’s the tree that hides the forest at Paris Saint-Germain. ”
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