'He can be number one' – Henry & Neymar laud PSG wonderkid Mbappe

The teenager has enjoyed a sparkling season at the Ligue 1 champions, and will hope to thrive at the World Cup in Russia this summer

Thierry Henry and Neymar have hailed the talents of PSG wonderkid Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

The 19-year-old moved to the Ligue 1 giants from Monaco last summer, initially on loan, but with an obligation for the Parisians to buy him for €180 million ($212m).

Mbappe has since sparkled in the French capital, scoring 21 goals and providing 16 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions.

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The teenager has, perhaps inevitably, been included in a France squad boasting a starry array of talent ahead of the tournament in Russia, and Arsenal legend Henry has hailed Mbappe as a “rare pearl”.

“We have a rare pearl in France, and it does not happen often,” he said, to Canal Plus. “You have to protect him, and from time to time maybe also tease him a bit, because I see that when you tease him, he responds positively and it wakes him up, too.

“He had to create that little monster he has in him, so when the monster comes out and takes control of his body, there are things that ordinary people cannot understand.”

Neymar also moved to PSG last summer, in a stunning, record-breaking €222m ($261m) deal from Barcelona, and enjoyed an exceptional season before injury curtailed his involvement in the club’s title charge.

The Brazilian superstar scored 28 goals and provided 19 assists in just 30 appearances in all competitions, and he has been so impressed by Mbappe that he believes he can be the best player in the world in future.

“He is already a top player, and he can become much better, because of his qualities and his game. If he continues in this way it is sure he will be the number one,” he said.

France are in Group C in the World Cup, and will face Australia, Denmark and Peru.

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