Robert Pires has called for France to play Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud over wonderkid Kylian Mbappe for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
The 18 year-old set the world alight last season as he smashed onto the scene in spectacular fashion, and is now a part of the most expensive attacking line-up in world history.
Mbappe lines up alongside the most expensive player in Neymar at club level, with his own future fee set to come in as the second biggest transfer when completed next summer. Pires is adamant that despite the fast pace of his career since his breakthrough, that France boss Didier Deschamps shouldn’t pile the pressure on his shoulders.
Pires said: “Have people forgotten his age or what? He is only 18 years old.
“He has a potential to be way above the average and yes it is absolutely necessary that it plays, but from there to make him a leader? It is too much pressure on him. Do not burn his wings.”
Robert then added that he wasn’t in favour of the French bosses system in place, before adding that Giroud should keep his place as his country’s first-choice forward.
He continued: “I was surprised as the choice of the system. I prefer 4-4-2 which allows having two attackers and real wingmen who can work offensively and defensively. I find it more balanced.
“With Lacazette, you have to be patient. Defensively he made efforts. I do not worry in the long term.
“But for the World Cup, Deschamps will not change much and will respect the hierarchy with Giroud before Lacazette. With Olivier, he can count on a great pro who will never pose a problem and you can rely on him.”
Can Giroud really continue as France’s first-choice striker whilst Mbappe and Lacazette are playing regularly and he isn’t? Can Mbappe really be given a limited role in the World Cup when he is proving to be one of their best players?