Youri Djorkaeff has compared Kylian Mbappe to his former France team-mate Thierry Henry and has said he expects the Paris Saint-Germain star to go on an emulate Brazil icon Ronaldo.
Mbappe has enjoyed a remarkable start to his career and was recognised for his achievements by winning the inaugural Kopa Trophy—awarded to the best player under the age of 21—at the Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday.
However, Djorkaeff clearly believes he has a lot more to accomplish in the sport yet, per Omnisport (h/t Dejan Kalinic of Goal):
"I had the opportunity to play with great strikers. And I think that Mbappe is more like Thierry Henry, because they have the same speed.
"Ronaldo takes the ball, turns, dribbles, with the speed, with the skills. Mbappe needs movement, like Thierry Henry.
"Ronaldo plays as a No. 9. Mbappe plays a bit on the side, like Thierry Henry did. So I think in two or three years, we could compare Mbappe with Ronaldo. Because, according to me, Mbappe will play as a No. 9."
PSG posted the following clip of Mbappe after he was confirmed as the Kopa Trophy winner:
Djorkaeff's praise might seem over the top when describing a 19-year-old. Yet with Mbappe that doesn't feel the case, as the forward has already enjoyed so much success.
Domestically he has won Ligue 1 twice—once with former club Monaco and once with PSG—while in the summer he became a France icon, netting four times at the FIFA World Cup and helping the team to glory.
Goal UK reflected on an incredible year for Mbappe and noted he has surpassed a landmark previously set by Henry:
Goal UK @GoalUK
✅ Most goals from a French player in a single year since Henry in 03 ✅ First ever to score 10 goals for France before turning 20 ✅ Second youngest ever to score in a World Cup final ✅ Involved in 21 goals in 23 Ligue 1 appearances so far in 2018 Mbappe for the #BallonDor? https://t.co/Zc4hEFY9Jn
At the moment Mbappe tends to play tucked in off the right flank for PSG, with Edinson Cavani the focal point through the middle and Neymar out on the left. Together they are undoubtedly one of European football's most fearsome attacking forces.
Mbappe has operated as a central striker at times for PSG and perhaps more frequently for Monaco, where he linked up with Radamel Falcao in a front two. And as is the case when he plays out wide, the forward causes many problems with his movement and speed.
There's no doubt he has the attacking potency to operate in this position:
While he's still young and has plenty to learn, already he has a list of titles that outdoes some of the great players of this generation. Given he doesn't turn 20 until December 20, it's impossible to tell what he could eventually achieve in the game.