Arsene Wenger has not shied away from publicly expressing his admiration for Monaco wunderkind Kylian Mbappé Lottin in the past, and today’s proving to be no exception in his very unusual stance when discussing players under contract with other clubs, as evidenced with comments to BeIN Sports:
The fact that Wenger is a huge admirer of Mbappé is hardly breaking news at this point, and with each day he talks the prodigy up the more he slowly reveals that he wants to make a bid this upcoming summer for the player.
However, what he desires to do and what is reasonable and within scope of the long-term project at Arsenal are two extremely different things.
Case in point:
AS Monaco have told Manchester United they want between €120m and €140m for Kylian Mbappé. (Gianluca di Marzio)— Get French Football (@GFFN) May 2, 2017
In other words, if the above rumor has any weight behind it (which GFFN have proven to be more trustworthy than not in the past), Monaco demanded Manchester United to bid, at minimum, £101 million for Mbappé, which would break Paul Pogba’s world record transfer fee paid by United to Juventus by £12 million. At this point, anyone thinking Arsenal could even come within £40 million of this rumored asking price is blatantly ignoring everything everyone knows about the club, Wenger, their recruitment and transfer policies, and basic economic facts.
Do I think Wenger’s sincere in his love for Mbappé? Of course I do. It doesn’t take much more than a blink of one’s eyes to see the very easy comparisons to a younger Thierry Henry, and in Wenger’s mind who’s better to stir the echos of past successes at Arsenal than himself, attempting to recreate league titles and deep European runs with similarly-skilled players one last time before calling it quits?
What we dream about, unfortunately, remains just that. Dreams. I’ve long aspired to be something I’m currently not, which is what fuels future actions - after all, while they’re difficult to obtain, I still work to set myself up to be in a position to capitalize on goals I’ve had for quite some time. And maybe, in Wenger’s mind, he’s still chasing those final managerial dreams before riding off into the sunset. Those dreams are much easier to reach and turn into reality when players of Mbappé’s caliber are leading the charge.
Dreams can be reasonable, and dreams can be unreasonable. And in this case, while it’s healthy to think about a future that looks significantly different than the current, Wenger’s Mbappé dream will probably remain just that.