MONACO - At his first press conference as a Monaco player, teenager Willem Geubbels met the inevitable questions about Kylian Mbappe by asking why he can't do even better at the club than the World Cup winner.
Monaco paid Lyon 20 million euros (£17.5 million, $23.6 million) for the forward in June, and he only turned 17 last Thursday. He was not intimidated by comparisons to Mbappe, one of the club's previous teen phenomenons.
"When you see what he has done here, it makes you want to do beautiful things, to follow in his footsteps," said Geubbels. "And why not do even better? I'm not putting myself under pressure over this, it will be done right."
Mbappe made his Monaco debut in 2014, just before his 17th birthday, and went on to play 60 games for the club and win a Ligue 1 title before joining Paris Saint-Germain in a 180-million-euro move last summer.
He won his second French title last season with PSG and became the second teenager, after Pele, to score in a World Cup final. Geubbels made two appearances for Lyon in Ligue 1 at the age of 16. He made his league debut for Monaco on Saturday, playing the last seven minutes of a 0-0 draw with Lille.
That made him the third-youngest Monaco player, behind Italian Pietro Pellegri, bought for a reported 25 million euros from Genoa in January, (16 years, 10 months and 30 days) and Mbappe (16 years, 11 months and 12 days).
The AS Monaco new boys 😍 pic.twitter.com/ovHidHQBKn— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 20, 2018
But Geubbels was 12 days younger than Thierry Henry when he made his Monaco debut back in 1994. "I've fitted in really well here and hope to do some good things," Geubbels added.
He follows in the path of Anthony Martial, who Monaco bought from Lyon at the age of 17 for 5 million euros in 2013. Monaco sold Martial to Manchester United for around 70 million euros just two years later.AFP