Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Out of sorts and overworked: What's happened to Mbappe?


While his goal output may still be high in Ligue 1 this season, the France World Cup winner has struggled for form in the Champions League

It is little wonder that Paris Saint-Germain have decided to prioritise Kylian Mbappe’s new contract over that of Neymar.


The World Cup winner may not quite match his Brazilian colleague in terms of his raw goal-producing output – Neymar scores or assists on average 1.26 times every PSG appearance compared to Mbappe’s 1.16 – but in terms of sheer reliability, there is no contest between the two players.


 Both signed in the summer of 2017 but since that time, Mbappe has played an astonishing 41 times more than his colleague – virtually an entire season’s worth of games. He stands just a single goal short of 100 for the club, having played 135 matches.

Could Mbappe's relentless availability and desire to play, though, be contributing to a downturn in form?


Remarkably, it has been close to a year since the 21-year-old netted in the Champions League.


His last goal in the competition arrived on December 11, 2019 in a 5-0 romp against Galatasaray. Five assists have followed since, yet more is expected of the man predicted to be a superstar for the next generation.


Mbappe, though, has been playing games at a relentless pace for years now. Since making his senior debut exactly five years ago to the day, he has already played 234 matches for club and country.  


Moreover, with the exception of the coronavirus stoppage, which brought an end to competitive action in France for more than four months, he has barely had a single break since moving to PSG.



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