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How Real Madrid could line up with Kylian Mbappe



The Kylian Mbappe transfer rumours continue to purr.

It’s been another summer filled with uncertainty after the France captain made it clear he would not be extending his contract with Paris Saint-Germain which expires at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Mbappe has long appeared destined for a move to Real Madrid, but there are no guarantees as to when this move will transpire.

The Saudi Pro League sought to complicate things by offering him billionaire status, while other top European clubs are sniffing around despite the finances involved. Mbappe, though, seemingly only has eyes for the Spanish capital, even if he has to wait another year for the move to go through.

While a transfer this summer is decreasing in likelihood, you simply cannot ever write off the ambition of Florentino Perez. Here’s how Madrid could line up with Mbappe if they struck a deal before the end of the window.

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe has primarily been used in a central position / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

While Mbappe has often lined up down the left flank throughout his senior career, he is not a wide man who likes to hug the touchline and isolate defenders one-vs-one.

Instead, Mbappe loves to operate in an inside left position, much like Thierry Henry. From this zone, the Frenchman can drop into deeper zones to receive possession and make unstoppable darting runs in behind defences.

However, the presence of Vinicius Junior renders it unlikely for Ancelotti to revert back to the 4-3-3 and start Mbappe wide left. The Brazilian has blossomed into a superstar of his own and almost exclusively operated off the left flank. Thus, it’d only make sense for Mbappe to earn minutes down the left when Vinicius is absent.

Although, the pair could work in harmony as a fluid tandem in constant rotation.

Potential lineups

Mbappe – Joselu – Rodrygo

Mbappe – Vinicius Jr – Rodrygo

Mbappe – Rodrygo – Valverde



Joselu is the only number nine on Madrid’s books / Omar Vega/GettyImages

Despite his efficacy in central positions, Mbappe doesn’t want to be a number nine. Given his status as arguably the world’s best and evolution into a more well-rounded performer, the Frenchman wants to get on the ball as much as possible and operate in a manner similar to Lionel Messi and Neymar – to create and finish.

However, that wouldn’t be the best utilisation of his current skill set.

Thus, deploying Mbappe up top would certainly be a viable option and it’d allow Ancelotti to retain the 4-3-3 while having both Mbappe and Vinicius in the frontline. With Vinicius functioning as a destructive outlet down the left, Ancelotti could give Mbappe the freedom to operate how he pleases in a central role.

While the Frenchman is an exceptional outlet and almost impossible to stop once he gains a yard, the forward could also be gifted the license to function in a similar vein to Benzema and become more of a facilitator.

Potential lineups

Vinicius Jr – Mbappe – Rodrygo

Vinicius Jr – Mbappe – Valverde

Rodrygo – Mbappe – Brahim Diaz

Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe, Federico Valverde

The Frenchman could strike a deadly dynamic with Vinicius Jr / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Benzema’s exit has led to an experimental summer in the Madrid camp. Master pragmatist Ancelotti has drifted away from the 4-3-3 in favour of a diamond midfield and two up top.

Should Mbappe sign for the club this summer, the 4-3-1-2 will either be ditched or emboldened. If it’s the latter, Mbappe will likely operate in the front two, but there’s no doubt he’d want to function in the #10 role. However, this will surely have too many defensive responsibilities for the Frenchman to consider.

Jude Bellingham has been earmarked for the creative midfield position and the Englishman could be serving Mbappe and Vinicius in attack. Imagine those two as split strikers! The PSG star could also start alongside the more creative Rodrygo, as well as new signing Joselu when the situation calls.

Potential lineups

Mbappe – Vinicius Jr

Mbappe – Rodrygo

Mbappe – Joselu

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