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Robert Pires wants Arsenal benchwarmer to start ahead of Kylian Mbappe for France in the World Cup 

The Paris Saint-Germain striker started in Les Bleus win over Bulgaria over the weekend

Kylian Mbappe’s rise over the last year has been nothing short of extraordinary.

The teenager has gone from a complete unknown to one of world football’s most exciting young talents.


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Last season, the wonderkid spearheaded Monaco’s Ligue 1 title and Champions League semi-final charge, earning himself a call-up to France and a season-long loan to Paris Saint-Germain that could eventually see him become the second-most expensive player of all-time.

Not bad for an 18-year-old in his breakout year.

Zero to hero

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Zero to hero

But it seems Arsenal legend Robert Pires would still prefer to see Olivier Giroud picked for France ahead of the teenage sensation

Mbappe started for Les Bleus in their 1-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday night ahead of the Arsenal forward, who played the final seven minutes from the bench.

Giroud has struggled for gametime at Arsenal this season

Reuters
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Giroud has struggled for gametime at Arsenal this season

Speaking to Le Parisien, the former Gunners winger said: “Have people have forgotten his age or what? He is only 18 years old.

“He has a potential to be way above the average and yes it is absolutely necessary that it plays, but from there to make him a leader?

“It is too much pressure on him. Do not burn his wings.”

Didier Deschamps’ side are set to guarantee their place at next summer’s World Cup with a win over Belarus on Tuesday.

Against Bulgaria, Deschamps played Mbappe up front alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Greizmann.

Giroud replaced Mbappe against Bulgaria with seven minutes to go

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Giroud replaced Mbappe against Bulgaria with seven minutes to go

Pires added: “I was surprised at the choice of the system

“I prefer 4-4-2 which allows to have two attackers and real wingmen who can work offensively and defensively.

“I find it more balanced.

“With Lacazette, you have to be patient.


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“Defensively, he made efforts.

“I do not worry in the long term.

“But for the World Cup, Deschamps will not change much and will respect the hierarchy with Giroud before Lacazette.

“With Olivier, he can count on a great pro who will never pose a problem and you can rely on him.”