Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel has stressed that Kylian Mbappe will have to be treated carefully over the next few months if he is to reach his undoubted potential.
The 19-year-old striker has exploded onto the global game over the course of the last 18 months, helping France to win the World Cup and setting a string of individual records along the way.
Tuchel has warned, though, that for all of the praise his charge has received, this is a vital point in his career.
The forward will not be available for the weekend’s clash against Saint-Etienne due to a three-game ban imposed upon him by the league after he was sent off against Nimes a fortnight ago – exactly the type of situation the former Dortmund coach would seem to want him to avoid.
“It’s a little bit the same with Mbappe. You have to be gentle with him, you have to be careful that he doesn’t get a big head, that he develops his tactical consciousness and becomes aware of the importance of daily work in training, but also in his day-to-day professionalism in order to achieve the massive goals he’s set himself. That will be decisive, I believe. It’s a question of details.”
Meanwhile, Tuchel admitted that he was not entirely happy with the club’s summer transfer campaign, with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon the only high-profile name to arrive.
“Not 100 per cent to be honest with you,” he said. “We were looking for a No.6. We wanted to replace Thiago Motta. For a No.6 at PSG, you need talent and a very big personality. We couldn’t find anyone to fit the bill. We ran out of time.
“Now, we have 100% confidence in this squad, in these players, and we’re looking forward.”
After the clash on Friday, PSG face a trip to Champions League finalists Liverpool next Tuesday with which to open up their European campaign.