Wenger: 'Mbappé is the new Pele'

Ligue 1 Conforama > Interviews

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hailed Kylian Mbappé as "the new Pele" and added the Paris Saint-Germain new boy has the potential to become the best player in the world.

Wenger has tracked Mbappé's progress for some time, and the superlatives were in no short supply as he spoke to The Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS.

Wenger, speaking before Mbappé's goalscoring PSG debut at Metz on Friday, said: "I think he is exceptionally intelligent, he has an exceptional character, and exceptional belief. I say to my friends, 'Mbappe is the new Pele'. He can become the best player in the world, because he as well has the charisma, the character, the belief. You never think you’re speaking to an 18-year-old when you speak to him. He always gives you the impression when he gets the ball that something special can happen.

"The timing of his movement is absolutely great! And at a very young age he is capable to decide every time ‘when do I finish on my own and when do I give the ball?’ and the guys who can score and who can give assists are great players, Mbappé, put him straight away into that category.”

Wenger on Neymar's motivations

The Arsenal coach was also watching closely as Neymar switched Barcelona for Ligue 1 and PSG.

"Neymar never expressed exactly in his statement the reasons of his move, because there is always a huge desire for the players to play with the best players. He decided to go the other way, so that is for, or for financial reasons, or for reasons that he thinks Paris Saint-Germain is tomorrow’s club and will take over from Real Madrid and Barcelona, or for individual reasons, such as maybe he wants to become the player that the team turns around, and to be acknowledged as the best player in the world."

Wenger's Strasbourg hopes

Born in Strasbourg, Wenger has one more good reason to keep an eye on France’s top flight, with his boyhood side returning to Ligue 1 in the summer, after nine years away.

"When I was a little boy I would have conversations about the Racing so of course when you are educated with that, it never goes out of your heart. I’m delighted! And I’d like to congratulate Marc Keller who has done a fantastic job to rebuild from the basics and have that consistency to come up again. Well done to him. And Thierry Laurey and Jacky Duguépéroux before have done a fantastic job so I wish them well! And I always have my eye on Strasbourg’s results, we just lost in Guingamp, now we have an important game coming up at home and I hope they will do well.”

>> MBAPPE: 'Paris Saint-Germain is another step up'

Your email has been successfully sent