French starlet, Kylian Mbappé, is the hottest prospect in world football after an amazing breakout season guiding Monaco to the Ligue 1 title and a run to the semifinal of the Champions League. The 18-year-old hit the back of the net 26 times last season in all competitions, including six strikes in the Champions League. He also bagged nine assists along the way while striking fear in the opposition with his pace, trickery, great technical qualities and dribbling skills, even though there’s much room for improvement in that department. For one so young and inexperienced, his ability and appreciation of creating as well as exploiting space in the attacking third is an indication of the level he’s currently playing at and of how devastating he can become in the near future.

Mbappé’s exploits over the last season have led to a host of top clubs across Europe including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid chasing his signature. He’s without a shadow of a doubt the most sought after prospect in Europe and his presence will definitely improve any of the elite clubs on the continent. The French champions are doing all they can to keep hold of the star striker and have already rebuffed several world record offers, but there is some indication that he would fancy a move to Real Madrid. French legend and Los Blancos boss, Zinedine Zidane, has revealed his admiration for the former Clairefontaine prodigy, and of course it would be hard for any French player to reject the opportunity to work with one of, if not the greatest player in their country’s history.

Despite all the attention, hype, and anticipation surrounding his future, the new French sensation must remain grounded and be cognisant of the need to get as much playing time as possible in order to continue his upward trajectory. Young players tend to blow hot and cold, which means that he must be in an environment where he will still be given time on the pitch if/when his form takes a nosedive. Fortunately for the Monaco starlet, he doesn’t have to look too far back to see the misfortune of another 18-year-old rising star whose gamble on a move to one of Europe’s elites brought him back to earth. Portuguese international, Renato Sanches, moved to Bayern Munich last summer after his astronomical rise at Benfica in the 2015/2016 season along with his performances at the 2016 European Championships, where he was voted the Young Player of the Tournament.

It is hugely significant for young players to ensure that they continue to play as many minutes as possible after their breakout season. Time on the pitch is extremely important in an effort to develop and hone their craft. In Mbappé’s scenario, staying at Monaco for at least another season would certainly not hurt him.

Renato Sanches during the UEFA European Under-21 match between FYR Macedonia and Portugal on June 23, 2017 in Gdynia, Poland. (Photo by MB Media)

After his breakout season at the Estadio da Luz and playing a significant role in Portugal’s triumph in France last summer, the Benfica academy graduate had the world at his feet and grabbed the opportunity by moving to Bavaria where he would continue his development. He has found life difficult at the Allianz Arena, managing just 17 appearances in the Bundesliga; making six starts and playing just one full game over the duration of last season. His fall from cloud nine hit so hard that he found himself on the bench at the just concluded U21 European Championship, just a year after starting in the final of the Euros at the Stade de France.