Former France forward and current CBS Sports commentator Thierry Henry has responded to rumors that Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is looking to leave the club.
He quizzed the club in the French capital on their methods of convincing Mbappe to stay after a summer of speculation that he would join Real Madrid.
Mbappe was reportedly promised he would have more freedom to play on the wings – which was not fully realized in his time and has led to his potential dissatisfaction.
Henry noted that Mbappe is not happy with – and sympathizes with – the current position he is in, but feels the young star should continue playing there for the good of the team.
“We know he doesn’t like it, and like I said, I think nobody likes being exposed to something they’re not good at. They just don’t like it, but there’s something that’s bigger than everyone else and that’s the club,” Henry told the CBS panel after PSG’s 1-1 draw with Benfica.
“But have they made him feel like club is the most important thing or have they made him feel like he’s more important than club? And I’m thinking for myself at one point – and I’m going to use my own stories… I didn’t like playing high and wide at Barcelona. I hated it! But I had to do it for the team.
“I haven’t heard anyone say, ‘Oh, what a nice touch to go play on the left’… But at one point I always remember there’s only one rule: the boss asks you to do something do, you do it for the good of the team. And your team wins. If your team loses, I would understand your reasoning.’
Henry also asked CBS reporter Julien Laurens – a French football reporter – for his insight into why this might be happening and what can be done about it.
“Do you think for the first time he’s in a position where he’s a bit exposed in terms of what he doesn’t like in the game?” Henry asked.
“I think you’re right, and that’s the crux of the problem. I think there are a lot of people at the club and even within the team who say, ‘come on, that’s not Tony Pulis from Stoke City’, they don’t hit you the ball and you play it alone up there and then you never do that Get ball,” Laurens replied.
“He has scored more goals at this stage this season than last season. He has Messi and Neymar behind him, he has a system that he has also done with full-backs to suit him and create chances for him. And yet you’re right, he’s not happy. I think the lack of sympathy from some fans is precisely that point – it’s like “Surely you should be content with what you have”.
His point is very: “It’s not my best position to play there and I do well there, but I’d rather play a striker with more freedom like Neymar and Messi have behind me.” And he said that in the summer he was promised that they would sign a no. 9.
‘They are trying [to get] Lewandowski, he only wanted Barcelona. They try Scamacca but couldn’t come to an agreement with Sassuolo. You sign a boy [Hugo] Ekitik who is good but not ready yet. So he has to play there like you said… and maybe he should be happy with that, I don’t know. But certainly at the moment he feels that the promises have not been kept and he has made his decision and wants to go.’