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Mbappe posting Messi-like scoring numbers as PSG win another Ligue 1 title

19:06 GMT+4 21/04/2019
Messi/Mbappe split
The young Frenchman has been PSG’s title hero - with only the Barcelona legend scoring more league goals in Europe this season

"He's like a shark smelling the scent of blood. If you throw in a little blood, it happens."

Those were the words of PSG coach Thomas Tuchel recently as he attempted to describe Kylian Mbappe's deadly form in front of goal.  

While the Parisians wrapping up another Ligue 1 title will barely raise an eyebrow across Europe, Mbappe's incredible goal-scoring exploits this season deserves to be turning heads. 

Boasting all the confidence you'd expect from a 20-year-old World Cup winner, the French attacker has been unstoppable in front of goal striking 27 times across 26 league appearances. 

With speed, spirit and serenity in the final third, Mbappe has been ripping Ligue 1 defences to shreds and his resulting numbers put him in very elite company. 

Only Lionel Messi has scored more league goals in Europe's top five leagues this season, with the Barcelona magician finding the back of the net 33 times across 30 La Liga matches. 

Though any comparison between Ligue 1 and La Liga is difficult, Mbappe has quickly earned the right to be mentioned alongside the Argentine. 

At 20, a long-haired Messi was still finding his feet in front of goal - scoring 10 league goals across 28 matches in the 2007/08 season.

Mbappe meanwhile has well and truly taken flight with his goal-scoring exploits in France putting him in a league of his own - Lille's Nicolas Pepe is the next best scorer in Ligue 1 and still eight goals shy of the former Monaco man. 

While the strength of PSG's squad has made another Ligue 1 title far from surprising, the fact a still-developing 20-year-old like Mbappe has managed to shine so brightly in it is impressive. 

With his teenage years only just behind him, Mbappe has managed to put the likes of Edinson Cavani and Neymar into his quickly growing shadow.

Both PSG stars have struggled with injury this season, yet their absences have barely been noticed as a flying Frenchman effortlessly fills the void.

Mbappe has handed PSG the lead 11 times in Ligue 1 matches so far this campaign - a stat that underlines just how valuable his goals have been in wrapping up the league title with such ease.

Though a fair share of his strikes have also come when Tuchel's side have been cruising to victory, the German coach stressed Mbappe's hunger for goals is one that simply can't be quenched. 

"Mbappe is an extraordinary player. His mentality is huge," Tuchel said in April.

"He always wants to score. If he feels the goal or a dangerous situation, he is there - every game, every training session - in front of goal.

"It is his quality. He has to score more, more and more."

Some say Neymar left Barcelona to escape Messi's shadow, yet the Brazilian has inevitably found himself cast in another this season as Mbappe stands tall. 

Having been stuck on the sidelines for much of the season, Neymar clearly isn't too fazed about being dwarfed by the Frenchman.

"For me, right now, he is already a phenomenon," Neymar said to DAZN and Goal.

"He can have a great career and become even better than he already is. I have no doubt about it that he will become one of the biggest names in world football."

With the Ligue 1 golden boot all but laced up, the big question mark around Mbappe now is whether he's capable of finding the back of the net so effortlessly in another, tougher European league.

Rumours of a Real Madrid move continue to swirl though the man himself has hinted he's happy to stay on in Paris for at least another season.  

Brazilian great Pele recently stressed a club move isn't necessary for Mbappe to answer any lingering doubts over his goal-scoring prowess, but he did declare the Frenchman still has some work to do - particularly when it comes to headers. 

"He is not yet the king," Pele told Le Parisien. 

"He is undergoing tests to become the king. He still has a lot of steps ahead of him. He is young, he has just started.

"What is missing? Not much. Maybe his heading game, the impulse and the jump. That's what makes us different again because I had a lot of momentum. I was going very high and I scored a lot of headed goals."

Momentum is something Mbappe does certainly have in front of goal this season as he looks to match it with Messi. 

As it stands, the Barcelona legend may still reign king in the goal-scoring department, but it is safe to say Mbappe is the prince in waiting - with this Ligue 1 title just another crown in his growing claim to the throne.