The Arsenal fans here in the Football Transfer Tavern will have plenty to pick over as the summer draws on and rumours around The Emirates begin to pile up, and one name will certainly crop up day after day.
Monaco star Kylian Mbappe enjoyed the breakthrough season of all breakthrough seasons under Leonardo Jardim last term and played a key role in the principality side going all the way and lifting their first Ligue 1 title in 17 years, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.
However, as with most of the young side, the 18-year-old is being targeted by the biggest and best in Europe, with back-to-back Champions League winners Real Madrid heavily linked with a move, having tracked him for four years.
While it may seem a given that if the Galacticos are chasing a deal then he will be heading there, our landlord is keen to note that the rumours surrounding a move to north London just won’t go away, and that there may well be a very good reason for that.
First of all, there are clear comparisons between former Monaco man and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry which will be fuelling a lot of nostalgic talk both here in the bar and in the tabloids this summer, however, there is more to read into that.
Henry is perhaps Wenger’s greatest success story at Arsenal, but it is also a story of giving youth a chance and seeing the most dramatic dividends. Having left the Ligue 1 side in 1999 the Frenchman was struggling at Juventus and looked a way of the icon he would become, until Wenger offered an olive branch and nurtured him in the most spectacular fashion, creating the player we all knew.
Whilst Madrid would be hard to turn down, they cannot point to tales such as Henry’s – and far more similar ones at Arsenal. A couple of years ago the Spanish giants forked out to bring supposedly the next superstar in Martin Odegaard to the Bernabeu, he is now on loan in the Eredivisie and has largely been forgotten about.
Whilst Mbappe is further along the line than Odegaard was in 2015, Wenger has a track record to point to which could well, just, tempt the £29.75m-rated star to The Emirates this summer.