Thomas Tuchel Says Kylian Mbappe Needs to Mature, Agrees with Xavi Comments

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 7: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his first goal with coach of PSG Thomas Tuchel during the french Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique Lyonnais (OL, Lyon) at Parc des Princes stadium on October 7, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has said he agrees with Xavi's assessment of Kylian Mbappe and has encouraged the forward to show more maturity on the field.

Xavi, a Barcelona and Spain icon, said recently that Mbappe "still has no football maturity" to Catalunya Radio (h/t Alex Martin of the MailOnline). The midfielder said that if Mbappe makes strides in that area, he "might be more like [Lionel] Messi."

When asked about the remarks, Tuchel said he concurred with Xavi, who is currently playing for Qatari club Al Sadd.

"It's normal for him to get better," Tuchel said ahead of PSG's clash with Napoli in the UEFA Champions League, per AS. "He's 19. He's amazing. He's one of the best players in the world, and he's going to be the best. Xavi is right. He needs to improve on everything; it's totally normal when you're 19."

As we can see, the CIES Football Observatory recently rated the PSG sensation as the most valuable footballer on the planet:

CIES Football Obs @CIES_Football

Most expensive big-5 league forwards from a transfer value perspective according to @CIES_Football algorithm #Mbappé #Kane #Neymar #Salah #Coutinho Top 10 per position at https://t.co/lspuvEmv7w https://t.co/eqJNgSIVT0

Given all he has accomplished at such an early stage, that's not a surprise. Mbappe won the FIFA World Cup with France in the summer, scoring four goals in the finals, and is already a two-time French champion.

This season looks as though it may be his most prosperous one to date, as Mbappe has been key to PSG winning a record 12 games to start their Ligue 1 season. In the French top flight, he has scored 11 times in eight appearances, with only six of those outings coming as a starter.

Former PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti said he thinks Mbappe and his team-mate Neymar can go on to become the best two players in the sport:

B/R Football @brfootball

The future is now 🔮 https://t.co/u7Du5qhhl1

Still, it's not been totally plain sailing for Mbappe this term, as he was recently dropped from the side for the clash against Marseille.

Per Tom Kershaw of The Independent, the forward and team-mate Adrien Rabiot were late for a pre-match meeting, and Neymar said it's important the players "respect the schedules" put in place by the club.

But given his age and the pressures already thrust upon him, the temperament Mbappe has shown has been remarkable. At the moment, nobody in European football can match his productivity:

Scouted Football @ScoutedFtbl

Across Europe's top five leagues this season, Kylian Mbappé is the first player to score 10 goals and also the first player to directly contribute to 15 goals. 8 appearances. 11 goals. 4 assists. https://t.co/pS7LjHbQYF

Already Mbappe is among the best footballers in the world, and he showed in Russia during the summer that he can have an influence on the biggest games in the sport. With that in mind, he'll be in contention for individual prizes for many years to come if he continues on an upward curve.

To get to the levels of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, consistency over a number of seasons is required, and more maturity would certainly aid that process. But of all the young stars in the game, if anyone is to match the levels set by that duo, it's most likely Mbappe.