Friday evening. In the absence of players such as Lionel Messi and Neymar, all eyes were on the France international. The television cameras were on the lookout for the slightest gesture from the No.7 to scrutinise him and look for any nuances that might shed light on the player’s intention to either stay at PSG or leave.
Social media was abuzz with every image of Mbappe in one way or the other. If he was laughing, it was clear he was staying. If his face was serious, it’s one hundred percent clear that he will leave before the transfer window closes. Even at the conclusion of the match, the hashtag #FreeMbappe was trending after his glum look on the bench was the main talking point.
In the first few minutes of the match Mbappe was particularly active and clearly taking the lead. He played with freedom of movement, coming in from the left, right and centre. He soon had his first chance to score, in a one-on-one with the Brest goalkeeper, but the ‘keeper came out on top.
Then came his goal. It was his team’s second and Mbappe did not hold back his joy at scoring. Does this mean that he is happy at PSG and that he will stay with the team for another season?
In the second half, he earned himself a yellow card for a tackle on an opponent. A fair caution. Mbappe timidly protested the referee’s decision, but in his own mind he knew he was wrong. Does this show that Mbappe has his mind elsewhere and that he is more concerned about his future than anything else?
Eventually, he was replaced. Mauricio Pochettino decided to take him off the pitch to bring on Angel Di Maria. The cameras naturally focused on Mbappe, who greeted his teammate and then his coach cordially, but when he arrived on the bench his face changed and his stern expression shocked social media. Could it be the definitive sign that he will leave PSG this season?
After the match, we had to wait to see what Mbappe would say or post on his social media accounts. Everything was positive and happy about the victory, to the disappointment of some of the fans. Is he playing a game of misdirection?