For the eleventh season in a row, Paris St-Germain have been booted out of the Champions League and, as expected, the futures of star players like Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe have been called into question.
In a post-match interview, former Liverpool player-turned-pundit Jamie Carragher suggested that Mbappe “has to leave” PSG for the good of himself and the team.
“I’m delighted PSG have gone out,” said Carragher.
“I am. I just don’t like the whole set-up and everything about it. It’s not a team, it’s just a mess. Five years out of seven they’ve gone out in the last-16.
“They’ve spent more money than anyone, got the best players in the world. It’s just brilliant because it tells you how important it is to be a team. We love individuals within a team but that’s not a team and Kylian Mbappe has to leave that club.”
But is leaving PSG the best move for Mbappe? Let’s take a look.
Why Mbappe should leave PSG
Since signing with PSG, Mbappe has well and truly proven his worth and — just last weekend — became the club’s top goal scorer of all time. But at only 24 with just one year left on his PSG contract, experts are suggesting that he needs to leave the Ligue-1 club if he wants to establish himself as one of the game’s true legends.
Speaking to El Pais back in November, former PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino suggested that Mbappe must leave the club if he wishes to win the Ballon d’Or.
“He is on an upward path, and from now on we would have to see the best Mbappe with even better records. Evolution often happens by leaving the comfort zone. Renewing for PSG is good for the club and its fans. But Mbappe in the future will have to consider that leaving his comfort zone will bring him closer to fighting for the Ballon d’Or.”
Even Wayne Rooney has joined the choir of people telling Mbappe to leave PSG if he wants to one day rival the likes of Messi and Ronaldo.
“I think he needs to leave that club and go to the Premier League. PSG is a massive club, but I think he’s done everything he can in Ligue 1. Maybe a Manchester United or Real Madrid. If he needs to reach the level of Messi and Ronaldo I think he needs to join Manchester United or Real Madrid,” Rooney told Sports 18.
Where would he go?
Prior to extending his contract at PSG last summer, Mbappe was rumoured to be signing with Real Madrid — which would make the Spanish club the obvious choice for his next move. Although, a move to Manchester United has also been thrown around as a strong suggestion if he were to opt for the Premier League.
The case for Mbappe to stay at PSG
But while many are suggesting he will leave, his own comments recently seem to indicate he will stay.
“It’s a privilege to play here. I’m from Paris and being at PSG is special. I arrived very young and I have grown and matured, both on and off the field,” he said prior to the club’s recent loss to Bayern Munich.
“If it depended on what happens in the Champions League – and I don’t want to disrespect anyone – I would have already left!”
It’s also worth noting that Paris is his home town, so there is obviously the pride and emotion attached to winning a Champions League trophy for his city that is an incentive to stay at PSG.
While some have suggested he may now try to leave early after the Champions League loss, French journalist Julien Laurens notes that the club won’t make this easy for him if he actually tried.
“Mbappe has another year on his contract and even if he wants to leave they will not let it happen, so he will still be there,” said Laurens.
“He hasn’t won the Champions League but he is only 24 so this is not an obsession for him.
“He said it would be extra special to be the first one to win it for PSG.”