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Ex-scout reports how close Arsenal were to signing ‘generational talent’

Former Arsenal Scout Gilles Grimandi has revealed how close Arsenal were to signing Kylian Mbappe.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

The Gunners scouting department has been very good for a long time now and it’s been revealed they almost got one of the best players in the beautiful game.

Kylian Mbappé has been on top of the world with how great he has been over the last few seasons. The PSG and France Striker is considered by some as ‘The best in the world’ right now. As well as a successful career in the French League, he has also been outstanding for the national team.

Mbappe joined PSG from AS Monaco for a whopping transfer fee of €180 million back in 2018. This move came when the french star was only 18 years of age. Before the young superstar banged in goals, he was on a french youth squad for the french club AS Bondy back in 2013. The young phenom was looking to switch youth squads, and that’s when Arsenal approached the player at the young age of 14.

Former Arsenal Scout Gilles Grimandi spoke with The Sun about the approach and how close they were to acquiring Kylian Mbappé. Here are some quotes from the article…

“The job of scouting is about finding but also missing players. For me, it is Kylian Mbappe. We just could not convince him. He was out of contract in June 2013 and we met him in February. If we could have convinced him to join, he would have changed the club — but he then decided on Monaco.

Arsenal were not always playing their best so it was quite complicated. At first it was easy, as soon as we talked to a player he wanted to sign it. However, if you are not getting results it is difficult to bring top players to help the team.”

Want to read more? Arsenal closely watching young Spanish talent.

Image Credit: Getty Images

The signing of the generational talent was on the verge of happening, however it did not come to fruition because of the results and also staying in his home country of France.

The French and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger pushed hard and even visited the striker in his home of 2016, but Kylian renewed his contract with Monaco and broke into the first team the next year.

Although Gilles Grimandi talks about the loss of Kylian Mbappé, the former scout talks about how the Gunners have had some good scouting on some talents.

“Yet the likes of Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah, who I watched develop, prove you should never forget the talent you have inside your club, even in difficult times.”

Arsenal currently have two young blossoming stars in Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah, and are poised to keep developing the young stars through Hale End as more recently shown with Ethan Nwaneri & Amario Cozier-Duberry.

What if Arsenal had convinced Kylian Mbappé to join the Gunners? Only ‘what if’ questions may answer that…

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  1. Samu

    February 27, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    Couldnt Convince him? Poor in my opinion

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