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Mbappe Shines As Monaco Wrap Up Ligue 1 For First Time In 17 Years

MONACO, MONACO - MAY 17: Kylian Mbappe of Monaco celebrates his goal during the French Ligue 1 match between AS Monaco and AS Saint-Etienne (ASSE) at Stade Louis II on May 17, 2017 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Everybody’s new second team secured the French title with a 2-0 victory over Saint-Etienne on Wednesday evening.

Leonardo Jardim’s charges only needed a point to wrap up the league on Wednesday but sealed the title in emphatic fashion. Goals from hot property Kylian Mbappe and Valere Germain secured the principality club’s elevnth straight win. The victory opened up an unassailable six-point lead from rivals PSG.

Despite the young age profile of the squad, Jardim’s men have shown a ruthless efficiency in their game all season. They have not tasted defeat in their last 19 games, winning 17. They have also scored a phenomenal 104 goals in their 37 games thus far, which leaves them with a +75 goal difference. The reckless abandon with which they have attacked all season has won them mountains of admirers across the continent.

With an average age of just 25 and a squad assembled for a fraction of the cost of PSG’s, Monaco’s victory has struck a blow for the underdogs everywhere. The summer is sure to test them severely though as many players have attracted the interest of the big boys across Europe.

Mbappe will need to invest in a big stick to keep suitors at bay over the summer months, while Fabinho, Bernardo Silva and Djibril Sidibé will also find their phone lines busy.

Monaco have been no strangers to precocious, rangy speedsters in the past. Thierry Henry and Anthony Martial have both plied their trade at Monaco, with the latter securing a huge money transfer to Manchester United two summers ago.

It would be hard to rule out Mbappe following a similar path as Martial, and securing a big money transfer over the next few months. The 18-year-old became the youngest player this century to score 15 goals in one of Europe’s top five leagues on Wednesday.

His goal this evening showcased all that is good in the teenager’s play. The searing pace, the quick feet and the composed finishing can all be seen here:

That only tells a small portion of his story thus far this season. He has outscored the likes of Neymar, Gareth Bale and Dybala in the league, scored past the great Gigi Buffon in the Champions League, become the youngest player to score five Champions League goals, as well as the youngest scorer in a Champions League semi-final and won Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year.

The rumour mills will be in overdrive printing this young man’s name over the summer months.

Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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