Monaco’s latest starlet driving their rise to European prominence

French club has already produced attackers such as Thierry Henry and Anthony Martial

While Monaco have surged to the forefront of European football this season, Europe's biggest clubs have started making a beeline for the club's players.

The principality club’s exhilarating blend of youthful attacking football and resilience has alerted the big guns around to a potential gold mine of talent on the Cote d’Azur.

Kylian Mbappe, the pacy 18-year-old winger or striker likened to Thierry Henry, could just be the pick of the bunch.

He became Monaco’s youngest-ever senior debutant aged 16 years 347 days, when coming off the bench against Caen in December 2015; breaking Henry’s record set 21 years ago.


Two months later he again replaced Henry to become Monaco’s youngest goalscorer.

Those comparisons with his illustrious fellow Frenchman seemed far from misplaced as Mbappe tore into Manchester City in both legs of a pulsating Champions League tie in February and March and stunned Borussia Dortmund last week.

Mbappe scored at home and away against City and twice in the first leg of Monaco’s quarter-final against Dortmund. His blistering form has seen him strike 13 times in his last 12 appearances and 19 overall this season.

His performances are just one of a number of factors in Monaco’s stunning rise to the top of Ligue 1 and potential progress to the Champions League last four.

The squad has quality throughout with Benjamin Mendy, Fabinho and Bernardo Silva among those tipped for big-money moves elsewhere if overtures come from more glamorous clubs in the summer. Following in the footsteps of Anthony Martial who left for Manchester United in 2015, after collecting that year's Golden Boy award for the best under-21 player in Europe.

But Mbappe could certainly command a huge fee after bursting onto the scene in sensational fashion.

He looks at home on the big stage. His displays against City and Dortmund were confident and destructive and there could be more to come as Monaco now eye silverware.

City, their rivals Manchester United, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Serie A outfit Inter Milan have all been linked with figures as high as £85million mentioned.

Romantics will want to see Monaco’s exciting squad grow and develop in the years to come but realists will expect the money and grand arenas of the game to talk. Those big clubs will be watching on Wednesday as Mbappe comes up against Dortmund once again.

Another fine showing would enhance yet further the reputation of a youngster who could become one of this summer’s most sought-after players.