French football expert Jonathan Johnson has attempted to explain the significance of Paris Saint-Germain manager Luis Enrique hitting out at Kylian Mbappe despite scoring a hat-trick for the club in their win over Reims at the weekend.
The Spanish tactician notably stated that he still wanted more from Mbappe, despite the France international putting in a superb display in front of goal, scoring three times in a 3-0 win away from home in Ligue 1.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside as part of his column for the Daily Briefing, Johnson played down the importance of Enrique calling out Mbappe in this way, and even suggested it might be a good thing as this PSG squad has long needed some more discipline after a difficult few years of under-achievement.
“A few eyebrows were raised by Luis Enrique criticising Kylian Mbappe after he scored a hat-trick against Reims, with the PSG manager admitting he still wasn’t happy with the player, demanding more from him despite his goal-scoring heroics,” Johnson said.
“There is, however, nothing to read into after Enrique’s recent comments regarding Mbappe. It is no secret that the Spanish tactician would like to see his French superstar working harder for the team and he is not the first PSG boss to want that.”
It will be interesting to see how Mbappe responds to these comments, but it could be that Enrique is bringing just the right kind of personality into his role as manager of this talented team.
Johnson also added some insight into the latest on Mbappe’s future at the Parc des Princes, with the 24-year-old yet to sign a new contract and edging closer to becoming a free agent.
“It is unlikely that we will see any major development on that front before the end of 2023 with much of Mbappe’s decision likely to hinge upon how PSG fare in the Champions League this term,” Johnson added.
“There have been signs of progress under Luis Enrique and the post-November internationals run up until the winter break could prove to an important period in terms of how Mbappe and PSG’s outlook is come early 2024.
“Overall, though, the players are largely happy with PSG’s new direction and the fact that the Spaniard is able to offer constructive criticism of his star player so publicly shows how things are changing at Parc des Princes compared with the former player power, which dictated that individuals came before the collective and the club.”