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Talent Radar

Talent Radar Awards 2016-17: Best Young Forward – Kylian Mbappe

For the fourth season running, the Talent Radar Awards recognise the best individuals across Europe’s top leagues across seven primary categories.

[Eligibility: As of 1st June 2016 – 21 years old and below for outfield players // 22 years old and below for goalkeepers]


The next Theirry Henry’ is a title that has been handed out far too generously in the recent past. Anthony Martial was the last man to wear that crown, with Ousmane Dembele also donning it for a short period of time. The latest, and most worthy man to take on that title is Kylian Mbappe. The 18-year-old striker began the season in the Monaco reserves, and has emerged as the deadliest young striker in Europe over the course of the season.

His achievements of course, must be viewed in context as well. The youngster has been an inspirational figure in a youthful team that has built over the last few years to rise and topple the PSG hegemony over Ligue 1. They’ve also gone on all the way to the Champions League semi finals, knocking out teams like Dortmund and Manchester City on their way there. In that context, Mbappe’s achievements look even better. He scored in every round of the Champions League knockouts, performing and making his name on the big stage.

The past two seasons of this award has been dominated by Harry Kane and Paulo Dybala, the former winning it last season and finishing third before, and the latter finishing as runner-up on both occasions. Mbappe certainly has big shoes to fill, and being the youngest ever winner of this award, he certainly has plenty more years before he can be toppled from this mantle.



Explosive pace, quick feet and excellent dribbling are all key attributes that make him a nuisance to defend against, especially as he’s capable of shooting with both feet and likes to cut inside before creating a chance.

Something that isn’t usually spoken of is his unselfishness. He’s constantly looking for movement ahead of him from team-mates in better goalscoring positions near the final third, and this is beneficial as it allows the team an attacking outlet to rely on in tricky situations. His tactical awareness is also another important asset as he’s able to retain possession in key areas of the pitch, allowing other players to get involved with counter-attacking moves and provide support when he’s under pressure from opposition players.

His most under-rated attribute is his excellent range of passing. This enables him to pass his way out of danger, and the level of composure he possesses allows him to find team-mates in space when they make promising runs across dangerous areas on the pitch.

Read a full Scout Report on Mbappe here.


Here’s what Jonathan Johnson, of ESPN FC and BeINSports told Outside of the Boot about Mbappe:

“The undoubted revelation of the 2016-17 season in Ligue 1 was Kylian Mbappe. Monaco themselves were the major success story in Le Championnat and a number of their bright young starlets deserve recognition but the France international’s explosion onto the scene was phenomenal.

A few appearances during the 2015-16 campaign, mostly as a substitute, marked Mbappe out as one to watch. However, few would have predicted that the 18-year-old would help himself to 15 goals and eight assists from 29 appearances this term based on a goal and an assist from 11 Ligue 1 appearances last.

Mbappe’s emergence has been one of a number of hugely positive developments at Stade Louis II this season and the hope is that he will stay with the principality outfit this summer and play next campaign as a guaranteed regular starter before moving on.

We will see if Mbappe and Monaco can resist the undoubted interest that should materialise this summer after such an astonishing breakout.”

This is what Mohammed Ali, of Goal and French Football Weekly told us about him:

“Mbappé is a sublime young talent who many had tipped to become a future star one day. Few had anticipated this meteoric rise in months however. After winning the prestigious Coupe Gambardella (French Youth Cup) with Monaco’s U19 side this time last year, it was only right for Leonardo Jardim to test this precocious talent in a couple of the first team games as a late substitute.

Trouble is, the 18-year-old responded to the fleeting opportunities handed to him with such aplomb that he may well have been a new signing. The French footballing world stood up to his talents after being given a breakthrough start against Montpellier back in October, just three days after a treacherous trip to Moscow in the Champions League. Mbappé responded with a goal and two assists to vanquish Montpellier en-route to a 6-2 triumph. He has not looked back since.

Even when thrown in at the deep end – (he made his first-ever UCL start in the knockout round away to City) – the Bondy native has charmed football fans across Europe with a maturity in front of goal that is rarely seen for a player his age. The plaudits and international call-ups are completely justified and well-earned. With Monaco facing a potential clearout in 2017-18, it will be interesting to see if Mbappé, not even 19 until December, can lead the line as the number 1 striker, or even dazzle in a bigger, richer team.”


2016-17PlayerAge (at the time)NationalityClub (at the time)Current Club
1stKylian Mbappé18FranceAS MonacoAS Monaco
2ndTimo Werner21GermanyRB LeipzigRB Leipzig
3rdAndre Silva21PortugalPortoPorto
2015-16PlayerAge (at the time)NationalityClub (at the time)Current Club
1stHarry Kane22EnglandTottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
2ndPaulo Dybala22ArgentinaJuventusJuventus
3rdVincent Janssen21NetherlandsAZ AlkmaarTottenham Hotspur
2014-15PlayerAge (at the time)NationalityClub (at the time)Current Club
1stMemphis Depay21NetherlandsPSV EindhovenLyon
2ndPaulo Dybala21ArgentinaPalermoJuventus
3rdHarry Kane21EnglandTottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
2013-14PlayerAge (at the time)NationalityClub (at the time)Current Club
1stJosip Drmić21SwitzerlandNurnbergBorussia Mönchengladbach
2ndRomelu Lukaku21BelgiumEvertonEverton
3rdVincent Aboubakar22CameroonLorientPorto

Read all our 2016-17 Talent Radar Awards 

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