Paris Saint-Germain’s former head of youth recruitment Marc Westerloppe believes it is now up to Kylian Mbappe where he plays for France.
The 20-year-old was part of the side that suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Turkey in Euro 2020 qualification on Saturday, as Les Bleus failed to register a shot on target.
Mbappe has played both as a central striker and on the wing for Didier Deschamps’ side, and Westerloppe feels he should decide in which position he is best deployed.
“I think it’s mostly up to him to know where he wants to play,” he told L’Equipe.
“When you have a player like him, you have to put him in the best possible conditions. There are not fifty other players like him.
“Football has evolved and today, in the 4-3-3, we have players who play as false wingers to make a difference directly in the game.
“When you play alone at the tip of the attack, it is now a little more complicated as the ball does not always arrive.
“When you have the qualities of Kylian, it’s a shame, because he needs to touch the ball.
“Kylian has tremendous potential and he has already proven that he is able to be effective for France without having a lot of experience.”
Mbappe certainly has proved an effective tool in the French national team despite only turning 20 in December – just over five months after netting in their World Cup final win over Croatia.
Westerloppe, who now works at Stade Rennais, believes he can add to his 12 international goals – but only if he is provided with the freedom to play as he wishes in attack without being called on to track back.
“It is important for him to keep his energy so he can play the final ball in attack,” he continued.
“He needs freedom, he is a player who asks for the ball to feet and makes the difference with a goal, assist or run.
“Would he always be consistent and efficient if he defended like he attacks?
“Kylian is a player who likes to touch the ball – he can’t stay ten minutes without one. That’s why it’s important for him to play in a team that controls the game.”