Arsenal target Kylian Mbappe should wait before leaving Monaco, says Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema

James Benge
Striking prodigy: Mbappe has emerged as Europe's most in-demand striker: AFP/Getty Images

Monaco striking sensation and Arsenal target Kylian Mbappe has been told to wait before making his move elsewhere by Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Mbappe has set Europe alight in recent months as one of the spearheads of a vibrant Monaco side that beat Manchester City to claim a spot in the Champions League quarter-finals, scoring 17 goals in 29 appearances this season.

Arsene Wenger has already confirmed his interest in the 18-year-old, admitting that he failed in a move for him last summer, but Arsenal will almost certainly not be the only club pursuing Mbappe in the summer.

Benzema knows the pressure of being a French prodigy – he left Lyon for Real Madrid as a 21-year-old in 2009 after being coveted by a host of European giants – and believes Mbappe should not rush to follow in his footsteps.

"I've been told he is a phenomenon, a very good player," Benzema told RMC. "Honestly, I still haven't seen him. He's a young player. Football is really hard, especially at big clubs. I arrived at Madrid at 21. I had already done a lot of things at Lyon, but when I got here I got a slap in the face.

"My first year was too difficult. You're far from your family, it's not the same. Those who are next to you are there to take your place. It's very difficult. But from what people have said, he's a very good player, and I hope he'll have a great career, little by little.

"I think you mustn't leave too soon. Things go well, but the day when it goes less well, that's the problem. He's 18, how do you handle it when it doesn't go as well, when people don't speak as well about you, when you're put under pressure?"

Mbappe, who could make his international debut for France against Luxembourg on Saturday, could find himself pairing up with Benzema next season at Real Madrid, with club president Florentino Perez doing little to deny speculation linking the youngster with a move to the Bernabeau earlier this week.

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