Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal's interest in AS Monaco''s latest teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe and admitted that he could be the next Thierry Henry.
The France U19 international, who can play all across the forward line, made his Ligue 1 debut as a 16-year-old in 2015 and broke the record – previously held by Henry – to become the club's youngest goal scorer when he netted against Troyes in the league two months after his 17th birthday. Mbappe is now a regular member of the Monaco match day squad and has impressed this season scoring six goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.
The Frenchman, who takes his squad to Stamford Bridge this weekend (4 February) to face Chelsea, believes the 18-year-old has all the qualities to emulate the Arsenal legend, but made it clear that talent alone will not allow him to reach his maximum potential. Wenger admitted that Arsenal were following his development with a keen eye, but were aware that any future move will be decided by Monaco with whom he is contracted until the summer of 2019.
"He is not exactly Thierry Henry but it is true that he has similar qualities and the future and talent is similar," Wenger told the Ligue 1 show, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"The potential is similar, after that if he has the same level of motivation, desire and intelligence that Thierry has, and the next two to three years will tell us that, then he can be very promising.
"The guys that have super talent are already playing at 18. Those who are not playing at 18 or 19 do not have that exceptional talent and he does play over here at the top level. He is a guy who is electric like Thierry was, can dribble, can pass and is efficient," he explained.
"We follow him, we know him very well, and he is developing well. He extended his contract with Monaco last season and so it's Monaco who are going to decide his future. He could be another Thierry Henry," the French coach added.
Mbappe has been on the radar of Premier League clubs since last year with the Daily Mail reporting last year in February about interest from Arsenal's rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.