Kylian Mbappe and Neymar are “a joke” to play against, says Jonathan Panzo, with the Dijon star admitting that trying to contain the threat posed by two Paris Saint-Germain superstars is akin to “defending against robots”.
Panzo has first-hand experience of facing France and Brazil international forwards in Ligue 1.
A top-flight contest earlier this season saw PSG run out 4-0 winners on the day, with Mbappe stepping off the bench to net two goals in that fixture – with both efforts teed up by Neymar.
Prolific frontmen at Parc des Princes have endured struggles since that outing on October 24, with form and fitness problems holding them back, but their quality remains without question.
Panzo is certainly not relishing another outing against PSG on February 28, with the England U21 international telling Ligue 1’s official website of facing Mbappe and Neymar: “It was a joke. it was like defending against robots. They're so fast, they're just so good, it's so hard to defend, to control.
“Just that experience of playing against that sort of player is good for me.”
Panzo came into very close contact with Neymar during his meeting with PSG, with the South American tangling with him inside the box, but the 28-year-old was looking to have a bit of fun.
London-born Panzo, who joined Dijon from Monaco in the summer of 2020, added: “I'm not quite sure [what he was doing]. I was coming into the box and he just hugged me.
“I said to him, 'What are you doing?' He just started laughing. It was a friendly hug… he was defending against me, but I think he was just joking around.”
Panzo spent time within Chelsea’s academy system as a youngster, before joining Monaco in 2018, and is enjoying life in Burgundy after taking on another new challenge in his blossoming career.
He said of his time at Dijon, with a three-year contract committed to upon his arrival: “It's going well, I've got some games under my belt.
“Dijon are a great club, fighting to stay up in Ligue 1. I wanted to help them and get some game time as well.
“I think I'm getting used to a lot of changes, there were a lot of changes at Monaco too. You have to adapt, keep pushing, and work hard to stay in the team.”