Randal Kolo Muani is now Kylian Mbappé's teammate for club and country after swapping Eintracht Frankfurt for Paris Saint-Germain, but what else is there to know about the slightly less famous of the Bondy-born attackers?
Kolo Muani was the final PSG signing of the recent summer transfer window, and joins an impressive stable of attackers which now includes Ousmane Dembélé, Marco Asensio, Bradley Barcola and Kang-In Lee as well as Mbappé at the Parc des Princes.
A Coupe de France winner with FC Nantes in 2022 and a FIFA World Cup runner-up with France in Qatar later that year, Kolo Muani is now back in his homeland after a goal-filled season in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Born in Bondy on 5 December 1998, Kolo Muani is only two weeks older than Mbappé, who also calls the commune in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris home. They might have had quite the five-a-side team growing up, with William Saliba, Jonathan Ikoné and Joris Gnagnon also born there within four years of each other!
Unlike Mbappé, who was a World Cup winner in 2018 at the age of 19 and remains the game's most expensive teenager following his €180 million transfer from Monaco to PSG that summer, Kolo Muani had a more scenic route to the top.
Kolo Muani joined Nantes at 17 but was a matter of days away from turning 20 when he was handed his Ligue 1 Uber Eats debut by les Canaris, in a 3-0 loss at AS Saint-Étienne, in November 2018. He was sent off twice in his first four appearances and farmed out on loan to third-tier US Boulogne for the 2019/20 campaign.
He was finally handed the keys to the Nantes attack the following season, and repaid that faith with 23 goals, 16 assists and a Coupe de France victory over OGC Nice across the following two seasons before leaving for Frankfurt.
He bagged 15 goals and 14 assists in 32 Bundesliga games there - with a goal-involvement of one every 91 minutes - and has returned to France shortlisted for October's Ballon d'Or.
Style of play:
Kolo Muani has drawn comparisons with a certain Thierry Henry on his rise through the game, and it is plain to see why. Like the former Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona and France star, Kolo Muani started out as a winger before being converted to a striker later on.
He also stands at 6'2" tall, and has the same rangy style and languid dribbling as the France '98 World Cup winner. He is also a disciple of the modern game, however, and won more duels than any other forward in the Bundesliga last season with 402.
Kolo Muani started the season still a Frankfurt player, and scored two goals across three games in all competitions for them before making the switch to the Parc des Princes on transfer deadline day.
He was registered in time for PSG's trip to Olympique Lyonnais last Sunday but wasn't named in the matchday squad, meaning a debut against Nice on the first Friday back after international duty with France beckons.
What they said
"Randal was too good for the league and for the players he came up against every weekend. He has all the qualities needed to succeed. By comparison, I remember a player called Nicolas Pépé playing in the Championnat National when he was loaned out by Angers to Orléans. Randal's much better than Pépé. He's a more complete player."
- Boulogne sporting director Aurélien Capoue reflecting on Kolo Muani's time there
"I rather think it's a strength. I don’t believe you have to go through an academy to play at a high level. The example of N'Golo Kanté proves it. He [played] for one of the best clubs in the world, although he exploded later in life with a unique career.
- Kolo Muani on his unorthodox path to the top
"I could 've lobbed him, or found Kylian Mbappé, but in the moment, I didn't see him. It's only when you watch back that you discover the other options. It's too late. It still sticks in my throat and it'll be there for life."
- Kolo Muani on his miss against Argentina for France in the 2022 World Cup final.
Photo credit: Paris Saint Germain