Image Credit : Getty Images
Image Credit : Getty Images

How Chelsea Lost Mbappe By Requesting A Second Trial

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Kylian Mbappe was brought to Cobham for trials by former Chelsea scout Serge Daniel Boga in 2012.

The Paris Saint-German forward impressed but Chelsea requested for a sdcond trial which put the player’s mother off.

Chelsea were worried about his defensive side, even though the then 13-year-old impressed with his attacking play.

In London, Mbappe met with Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda and was given a shirt with his name and the number 11 on it.

Boga told Goal: “Chelsea were the first ones to give him a trial. We did it before Real Madrid. I had a friend who worked for Nike, Denis Chantron, and when I was in France, we met and he said ‘Have you heard of this young boy called Mbappe? He plays for Bondy, this small club from the suburbs of Paris.”

“I said I hadn’t and he said ‘You have to watch him.’ I went there and watched him and I called him back straight away and I said ‘Listen, this boy is really something.’

“I told Chelsea about him and let them do their thing. I called everyone at Chelsea whom I dealt with, like Jim Fraser. I said ‘Listen, I have this kid you have to look at.

“I brought him over with his family. He was skilful, like he is now. He played against Charlton and won 7-0.

“After a week at Chelsea, we went into the office. We said ‘Listen, we appreciate what we saw from you but we have to invite you back for another trial and we’ll see after that.

“I remember what the mother said to this day. She spoke in French to Fraser and I was translating. She said to me, ‘Listen, my boy won’t be coming back. If they want him they have to take him now or in five year’s time they will be coming back to buy him for €50 million!’

Mbappe with the World Cup trophy

“That’s what she said to me! I said, ‘No I can’t say that to them. It is too cocky for me.’

“She was right, though. It wasn’t even €50m but €180m that someone would pay. So, she knew the quality of her son and she was right.“

Mbappe met the likes of Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda during his time in London and was given a shirt with his name and the number 11 on it, but it would not lead to a transfer to London for the gifted youngster.

In hindsight, Chelsea erred badly in not signing Mbappe when they had the chance to do so, with concerns over the defensive aspect of his game prompting the Londoners to request a second trial six years ago.

“He was very skilful but in England they want to see the player track back and be a hard worker. At the time, he wasn’t a hard worker,” Boga added. “Defensively, he wasn’t there yet. When he got the ball, he was unbelievable, but without the ball, he didn’t work a lot.

“Chelsea wanted to see him again to see how he could improve on this. I think that’s why they asked him back. He did skilful things and dribbled well. So, maybe the things they wanted to see in the second trial was improved work on the defensive side.

“They should have signed him. To be fair, though, it is easy to say that now. But, at the time, Chelsea had a good squad.”

“I worked with Chelsea until 2014,” he stated. “After that I decided to stop in order to look after my players, my brother and a few others I knew at this time and I use my skills to work with young players.

“I think until now, Mbappe is the best player I have ever scouted. I am proud, very proud to see what he has become. When I see him play, I say, ‘Wow, my eyes were good!’

“He is the type of player that everyone wants to watch play. He has everything needed for a modern player. He is fast and in front of goal he is a killer. He has everything to remain one of the best players for 10 years.”

Unfortunately for Chelsea, their chance to sign Mbappe seems to have already long since passed.

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