‘Fragile’ Arsenal told to snub Mbappe amid fears of ‘ripple effect’ on dressing room with ‘no superstars’

Jason Soutar
Arsenal and Liverpool-linked PSG forward Kylian Mbappe wraps up warm on the bench.
PSG forward Kylian Mbappe has threatened a kebab shop owner with legal action.

Signing Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is a risk not worth taking for Arsenal or Liverpool, according to Stan Collymore.

Mbappe has told the PSG hierarchy and his team-mates that he will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.

He will most likely complete a move to Real Madrid, two years after a U-turn saw him snub Los Blancos to sign a new deal in the French capital.

Liverpool and Arsenal seem to have an outside chance of landing the France captain and speaking on Friday, Mikel Arteta admitted the Gunners “always have to be in the conversation” for players like Mbappe amid transfer speculation.

Despite the fact Mbappe is arguably the best player in world football, and if he isn’t, he is definitely in the top three, former Liverpool player Collymore thinks the Reds and Arsenal to stay well clear of the race to sign the 25-year-old.

Writing in his CaughtOffside column, Collymore thinks Mbappe “will demolish their wage structure” and have a negative effect in the dressing room if one of the Premier League clubs sign him as a free agent.

“Kylian Mbappe will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and it looks like Real Madrid will be the superstar’s next destination,” Collymore said.

“The reason the La Liga giants will very likely be his next club is the same as when I moved from Nottingham Forest to Liverpool. It’s fact that you are following in the footsteps of some of the greatest players to have played the game. You are testing your abilities by trying to match the achievements and numbers of that historic club’s legends.

“Players don’t think with the mindset of going somewhere and building from scratch and hoping other players follow their path in the future. From my point of view, most players will think ‘I’m wearing Daglish’s number or I could score more goals than Kevin Keegan’ when joining a huge club with a glorious history. That is why Real Madrid are such a draw for so many players across several generations.

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“I can see Liverpool or Arsenal trying to get involved in the race but my advice to them would be to stay away from Mbappe. The French star is a great player but he will demolish their wage structure and not only that, the temptation to push the boat out for him will always be there, which could have a ripple effect across the whole dressing room.

“Arsenal have a fragile ecosystem built around young players who are all on this journey of getting the Gunners back to the top together. There are no superstar names in that dressing room but they could be in the future.

“Mbappe had a lot of power at PSG, which was evident over the last few years. That doesn’t just go away and I worry that it could affect this current Arsenal squad if the French star tried to flex his status again in north London.

“The PSG star would undoubtedly score plenty of goals but would he make the team better?

“At Real Madrid, it would be ok as there are other huge names such as [Jude] Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos; therefore, Mbappe becomes just another superstar within a team of superstars, who also have one of the most respected managers in the world.

“The same goes for Liverpool. The Merseyside club have had their best success under Jurgen Klopp by making players into superstars, not signing them. Mbappe would want to have a say in how things are done given his status and how much of an impact would that have on the new manager coming in at Anfield

“Could you imagine Xabi Alonso, who is still only finding his feet as a young manager, having to deal with Mbappe in his first season?

“If the Spanish coach got off to a bad start at Anfield, the media would be saying things like ‘Mbappe isn’t happy with the coaching’, even if that is not true. It would put unnecessary pressure on the new coach, who already has to deal with the pressure of succeeding the legendary figure that is Jurgen Klopp.

“People will be reading this and say I’m talking rubbish because he is a superb player and there are no suggestions that he is a disrupter, which I’m also not saying either, but I do feel that he has had so much power given to him at PSG, that he could try and take that with him to his next club and that would not be good for the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.”

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