Liverpool have been warned that potential 2022 free transfer target Kylian Mbappe’s game has regressed since he burst onto the scene at the 2018 World Cup.
Former Chelsea and Marseille frontman Tony Cascarino admits that he’s concerned Mbappe could end up like former Brazil and Barcelona star Ronaldinho, having been the subject of huge offers from Real Madrid to tempt PSG into selling this summer.
The Spanish giants tried to lure the 22-year-old to Spain but the French side were having none of it, despite knowing that Mbappe’s contract runs out next summer when he will become a free agent.
However, journalist Ian McGarry reported on the Transfer Window Podcast last month that the Reds were also plotting to sign the France star for nothing in 2022.
The 22-year-old is said to be interested in a move to Anfield, although Cascarino believes that could be a big gamble.
Cascarino said on talkSPORT: “I hope I’m wrong, but I hope Kylian Mbappe doesn’t turn into a Ronaldinho. The type of player who has so much, but then suddenly his career starts to go slightly downwards.
“Because Ronaldinho was one of the world’s greatest when he was at his very best. But it’s easy as a young man when you get everything put in front of you that you slightly take your eye off the ball and you don’t become the same player.
“Kylian Mbappe is still a very young player, he’s 22, but he’s got to get back to somewhere close to the player we know and love. He’s gone backwards.
“If I look back at the player he was in 2018, when he won the World Cup and he was just electric, devastating, and you really felt he was one of the best players in the world.
Mbappe’s impact not the same
“But I look at Mbappe now… I was disappointed with him at the Euros and he hasn’t scored in six games for France. There are moments, you see glimpses, but he’s not having anywhere near the impact he used to have.”
The stats don’t really back up Casacrino’s theory, if the Reds do decide to make their move.
Mbappe scored 27 goals in Ligue 1 and eight goals in the Champions League last term, and has already found the back of the net three times in four league games this campaign.
He will also spend this season playing alongside Neymar and PSG new boy Lionel Messi, with his game expected to progress further.