Karim Benzema urges Monaco’s teenage star Kylian Mbappe to wait before following in his footsteps by making a move abroad.
The 18-year-old French talent’s impressive performances in Monaco’s Champions League round-of-16 victory over Man City reignited speculation that the teenager could leave Ligue 1 for a big-money move this summer.
Benzema was only 21 when he took the step up to Madrid and having initially struggled to adapt, he thinks Mbappe, who has just 33 league matches under his belt in France, have to be patient and stay at Monaco for the time being.
“I’ve been told he is a phenomenon, a very good player,” he said. “Honestly, I still haven’t seen him. He’s a young player. Football is really hard, especially at big clubs. I arrived at Madrid at 21. I had already done a lot of things at Lyon, but when I got here I got a slap in the face.
“My first year was too difficult. You’re far from your family, it’s not the same. Those who are next to you are there to take your place. It’s very difficult. But from what people have said, he’s a very good player, and I hope he’ll have a great career, little by little.
“I think you mustn’t leave too soon. Things go well, but the day when it goes less well, that’s the problem. He’s 18, how do you handle it when it doesn’t go as well when people don’t speak as well about you when you’re put under pressure?”