Twelve years ago, Chelsea FC were on the verge of bringing Kylian Mbappé to London – until the Frenchman’s mother threw a spanner in the Blues’ works.
Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid had a tug-of-war over Kylian Mbappé for months before the striker finally decided to stay in the French capital.
Mbappé almost left France some time ago. But Chelsea FC missed out on an early transfer of the current top scorer in 2012.
At the age of 12, Mbappé completed a trial with the Londoners. Right away, the Frenchman convinced with his abilities. “After a week, we went to the office. We said, ‘Listen, we appreciate what we’ve seen from you, but we need to invite you for another trial and then we’ll see,'” recalls former scout Serge Daniel Boga in an interview with GOAL.
However, the offensive player’s mother did not like the hesitation at all and reacted indignantly to the Blues’ actions.
Mbappé’s mother’s words are still present in Boga’s mind today: “She said to me: ‘Listen, my boy will not come back. If you want him, you have to take him now or in five years you will come back to buy him for 50 million euros.'”
This is why Chelsea didn’t want Mbappé
Meanwhile, even that sum would be nowhere near enough to prise the 23-year-old away from PSG. Yet Chelsea had a good reason for holding back at the time.
“He was very skilful, but in England they want to see the player working hard at the back. At that time he was not a hard worker,” Boga said, adding, “Defensively he was not ready. When he had the ball he was incredible, but without the ball he didn’t work much.”
For the scout it is clear: “They should have signed him. To be fair, it’s easy to say that today. At the time Chelsea had a good squad.”
He continued: “Nevertheless, Mbappé is the best player I have ever scouted. I am proud, very proud, to see what he has become. When I see him play, I say: ‘Wow, my eyes were good!”