How Chelsea missed the chance to sign Kylian Mbappe

Tom Gott
Mbappe could have joined Chelsea
Mbappe could have joined Chelsea / Lionel Hahn/GettyImages

The scout who took a 12-year-old Kylian Mbappe for a trial with Chelsea has revealed how the Blues missed out on a deal to sign the future superstar.

Then an unknown youngster at Bondy, Mbappe spent four days in London in May 2011 on a well-known trial with Chelsea, where he posed for a photo with Didier Drogba and played in a game against Charlton.

Obviously, nothing came of the trial and Mbappe returned to Bondy, before moves to Monaco and PSG helped him blossom into one of the best players on the planet.

It could have all worked out so differently, however, had Chelsea taken the opportunity presented to them by former scout Daniel Boga.

"[A Nike contact] told me, ‘Daniel, I think you should come to Paris, there’s a young boy, he’s called Kylian Mbappe, he’s already signed a contract with me. You should see him’," Boga, who is the brother of former Chelsea winger Jeremie, told The Athletic.

A trial was set up, and while the youngster impressed with the ball, Chelsea were not enamoured with his work rate out of possession.

"When he has the ball… amazing. He pushes the ball and you can’t see him anymore," Boga added. "You could see that he had something special.

"When he went to his trial, I don’t think he saw that he had the opportunity to give everything to sign for Chelsea.

"I think this attitude, Chelsea felt it. Because after the game finished, we were speaking in the office with Jim (Fraser, Chelsea’s head of youth recruitment) and they said, ‘Yeah, when he’s got the ball he is amazing, etc. But we want to see this hunger’."

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders, Sean Walsh, Ali Rampling and Brian Goldfarb to look back on the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil - join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

Chelsea asked for Mbappe to return for another trial to allow them to get a better look at his attitude, but it was the Frenchman's mother who issued a now-or-never ultimatum that the Blues eventually passed on.

Boga continued: "The mum said, ‘No, we won’t come again’. I was translating. She said, ‘Tell them, he won’t come back. If you want to sign him, you sign him now’. And she said, ‘In five years’ time, you will come back for him for £50m’. She said, ‘Translate that’.

"I can’t say that. It’s too arrogant to say something like this. So I didn’t translate it. I just said to Jim, ‘I don’t think they will come back, so you have to make a decision now’. We tried to invite him back but he already had his plans to go to Clairefontaine (France's national training centre for the best young players from Paris)."