Perfect professional: Mbappe nomination highlights why Madrid want him so badly
Kylian Mbappe may not be pleased with Paris Saint-Germain’s refusal to sell him to Real Madrid this summer for €200 million – but the 22-year-old striker has not shown it on the field.
Indeed, alongside Dimitri Payet and Mohamed Bayo of Marseille and Clermont respectively, Mbappe has been nominated for the Ligue 1 Player of the Month prize.
And there is little doubt that Mbappe deserves such recognition, having produced arguably his best run of form in 18 months when it was perhaps hardest.
The World Cup winner was challenged by the relentless noise around a possible transfer to Real Madrid, with the saga having stretched much of the summer.
Furthermore, he was asked to carry PSG largely without the help of Neymar or Lionel Messi as they recouperated after the Copa America.
Mbappe held his silence off the field with regards the status of his contract talks with PSG and his feelings towards moving to the Bernabeu giants, but on it he simply did not miss a beat.
The opening game of the season was a relatively low key 2-1 win over Troyes, in which he picked up an assist, while in the 4-2 victory over Strasbourg that followed he completed another decisive pass. Indeed, he was unlucky not to be credited with a goal against Racing as he had a shot deflected off Ludovic Ajorque and into the goal.
Then, with the transfer speculation mounting, he scored his first of the season against Brest and followed that up with a double in a 2-0 win over Reims. Given the crescendo of noise around him before that trip to Champagne, he had not even been expected to start and some tipped him not to make the squad at all.
|Mins per goal or assist||71.7|
And so his August was completed, but that red-hot level has continued into September with a goal against Clermont. That single strike does not tell the whole story of his game as he was heavily involved in two other goals in a 4-0 win and partially involved in another.
While PSG can grumble that Mbappe has not committed his future to their cause, they certainly cannot question his on-field application or output in what is perhaps the most difficult point in his career.
Seeing Mbappe perform to such a standard under such scrutiny, though, can only enhance his Real Madrid credentials.