Even though the rumor-mill seems to be churning with PSG as the front (only) runner in the chase for Kylian Mbappe, the transfer window isn't quite closed. As such, the rumors around the Madrid camp, albeit not much more than a murmur recently, still have Uncle Flo pulling some last minute strings to secure the versatile attacker.
I know we've covered the could he/should he/will he plenty on this blog, but fresh off the heels of the ABSOLUTE FREAKING DRUBBING of Barcelona over the two Spanish Supercup legs, my feelings on the potential Mbappe transfer matter solidified to the extent that I felt the need to resurrect one, hopefully final piece on young Kylian.
I give you my three reasons why we don't want us some Mbappe.
1. The dollars
This first point might seem silly, particularly since Florentino continues to brilliantly handle this club’s finances. We're in a really solid place and have sold some/bought some this window, but have plenty of cash if we wanted to splash on another Galactico.
My point on the dollars is that while Mbappe was simply essential to the League-winning success at Monaco last season, one season and 18 years old does not the (what would be now second) most expensive player on the planet make.
The sophomore curse exists for a reason. Making such a high-profile move to a club that is chock-full of world class players completely changes everything. And I’m pretty convinced that we'd be slapping ourselves when he has a couple average seasons. Heck, look what vitriol was ceaselessly spewed at Bale when the Bernabeu faithful felt he wasn't living up to his record-setting transfer fee.
While it could be argued that the transfer market is only going to continue to balloon, and he might very well cost double in another year, I just don’t see this as a sound investment.
2. Offensive/team cohesion
I harken back to my earlier reference to the recent Supercup, and our phenomenal team effort for this point. While I'm firmly convinced that Zidane can work his magic on just about anyone, Mbappe is used to being top-dog. He carried Monaco, and I would expect that were he to transfer to Madrid, he would be expecting to feature in Zidane's scheme.
But as the James situation reinforces, world-class talent, when unwilling to align with the team mentality, ends up mustering out.
All this is pure conjecture of course, but with as fine-tuned as the squad is even this early in the season, with the only new additions terrific 2nd-choice talent, I would really hate to even take the chance to upset the apple cart. All our attackers with the exception of Mayoral (whom I believe will be a 3rd or even likely 4th choice option) have played together now for a season and a half under Zidane, and far longer together in most cases going back to Ancelotti.
Introducing a firecracker, however talented, into the mix at this point will only set us back.
3. Karim Freaking Benzema
Which segues nicely to my final point. As much flak as Big Benz takes, we could not ask for a more influential, instrumental first-choice striker on this team. Karim Benzema is, in my mind, the most well-rounded and versatile striker on the planet.
It may seem like we're on a Karim love-fest after Om just published a great piece featuring Benzema's defensive work rate following Tuesday's match. But it's well warranted.
Given the attacking prowess this club has from so many fronts, having a front-man who can not only score goals, get assists, create chances, drop deep and link up with anyone, and even defend…not only can you not find that pretty much anywhere, but it is indispensable in this Madrid offense.
The primary issue with Mbappe showing up is that he and Benzema would be fighting for minutes. Sure Mbappe can play on the wings, but there are already 5 other Real Madrid players for that one or two winger spot (depending on formation). On top of that, Ronaldo is finding himself more and more in the center, AND, we seem to be favoring two up top rather than three in Zidane's hybrid 4-4-2/4-4-1-1/4-3-1-2.
As talented as Mbappe is, I can't for the life of me see him bringing more to this squad than Karim does outside of goals. But Real Madrid don't have any problem scoring goals. Goals from everyone, from everywhere, all the time. We're on 68 straight games scoring goals - the most of any of the top five leagues for all time.
And since that's really the only upside I see, it just doesn't make sense to me to splash that kind of cash on an 18 year old one-season wonder, potentially upsetting the glaringly palpable chemistry this club already has, to compete for a spot we don't need to fill.