Mbappe can play with freedom alongside Messi and Neymar, says Galtier

By Sports Desk September 29, 2022

Kylian Mbappe is a smart enough player to create space and play with freedom alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, according to Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier.

France international Mbappe appeared to question the tactics used at PSG when admitting last week he has "a lot more freedom" when playing for his country.

The 23-year-old was speaking on the back a 2-0 win over Austria in which he and strike partner Olivier Giroud linked up throughout, with both players on the scoresheet.

But while Galtier agrees that PSG could do with a Giroud-type player in their squad, he does not believe his side have a problem getting the most out of Mbappe in attack.

"I don't think he has less freedom," Galtier said ahead of Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with his former club Nice. "With Giroud, he has someone who opens up spaces for him.

"We don't have that player profile but he's just as smart to find other moves with Leo and Neymar giving him the ball in his preferred space.

"Kylian's analysis is correct. He's not in the same system for his club and national team. This is a discussion I've had with the president and Luis Campos about our attack.

"We were all convinced we needed a fourth player in that position with a different profile, but that player did not come [in the transfer window]. It's a shame but that's how it is.

"The technical relationship between Neymar, Leo and Kylian is different to what he has with the national team."

The relationship between PSG's star-studded front three was again in the spotlight this week when Neymar declined to comment on his relationship with Mbappe.

Speaking earlier this month, Mbappe admitted he has "hotter and colder moments" with the Brazil international, though added they have a strong mutual respect.

But when probed on the pair's relationship on Thursday, Galtier insisted he is more than happy with the chemistry in the dressing room.

"I am surprised I have to always repeat the same thing," he said. "Since I arrived here, to the current day, all I've experienced is normal things in the life of a locker room.

"There is nothing that's surprised me, nothing that has challenged me. The players here want to win together and they are also in competition [for a place in the side].

"They are all great champions with competitiveness, with egos. We have a pleasant dressing room. There is a discrepancy between what you hear and the reality."

 

The Parisians enter the contest with Nice top of Ligue 1 with seven wins and a draw from the opening eight matches of their latest title defence.

However, PSG have scored only one goal in both of their past two league outings – not since September 2020 have they failed to score more than once in three straight games.

Galtier said during the international break that his side need to show more of a "killer" instinct in front of goal, having managed 12 shots on target across the two matches.

"I want to remind the players that it would be beneficial to us to hurt teams quickly," Galtier added at Thursday's press conference.

"It will help with the management of the squad and playing time. But it must be said that opposing goalkeepers have also performed well against us."

PSG are unbeaten in their past 17 Ligue 1 games ahead of their return to action this weekend, which is the longest current run in the division.

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    The Netherlands are Mbappe's favourite opponent – he has scored six goals in five matches against them, more than against any other side in his international career with France. In fact, his first ever goal for Les Bleus came against the Netherlands in August 2017.

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