‘We have to get used to playing without Kylian Mbappé’ – Luis Enrique suggests end to star privileges

In the 65th minute of Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-1 draw at home to Stade Rennais, Luis Enrique made the choice to substitute Kylian Mbappé (25) while the team still chased an equaliser

It was perhaps a surprising decision as Mbappé remains the league’s highest goal scorer and is a proven continuous threat on the pitch, but ultimately it was a choice that spoke to a quiet game for the forward, and as Luis Enrique later revealed a future without their player. 

There has been no official confirmation, but Mbappé will leave the club at the end of the season to join Real Madrid. It was an agreement forged in January and it appears as if there is no changing the forward’s mind this time for PSG, as they had done previously in 2022 when it looked certain that Mbappé was leaving. 

Luis Enrique addresses Mbappé rumours 

The manager came closest from PSG to directly addressing the Madrid-shaped elephant in the room when asked to explain why he substituted Mbappé. “It’s very simple, sooner or later, when it happens we have to get used to playing without Kylian. When I want to play like this, I will, when I don’t, I won’t.” 

It’s very easy, there are competitions and my intention is not to give ‘free’ minutes, I want maximum competitiveness. Every player has to deserve their playing time.” A comment that could spell the end to Mbappé’s privileges afforded by his status as one of the best players in the world, and perhaps also PSG’s reliance when chasing a game on the forward to dig them out of a hole. 

However, Luis Enrique clarified that he was “delighted with the attitude of my players. But if anyone thinks I’m going to give up on them, no. I want my players to say to themselves: ‘When I start, I have to take advantage of it’. I will continue to be demanding. But today I am delighted with the attitude. We had a very good attitude.” 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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