Kylian Mbappe will sign for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is the manager for him, says Gunners great Robert Pires

James Benge
Striking star: Mbappe has set Europe alight with his recent form: AFP/Getty Images

Robert Pires is convinced his former side Arsenal will win the race for the much-coveted Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe.

Arsene Wenger, a vocal admirer of the 18-year-old, has admitted that the Gunners may have already been priced out of the race for Mbappe, who has been linked with Real Madrid and the Manchester giants in recent weeks.

However Pires, a regular at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground, is convinced that the Gunners can win the race for Europe’s most in-demand young prospect, even if it comes at quite the cost.

“I do think Arsenal will sign him,” the 43-year-old told bwin. “The problem is how much.

“Mbappe has the potential to play for Arsenal and Wenger is the right manager to manage him. Monaco and Arsenal are very similar in clubs, so it won't be much of a transition.”

Pires may be hoping that Wenger’s links with Monaco allow him to sweeten a deal for Mbappe and also encourage the youngster to consider what the Arsenal manager has done for other young forwards who began their senior career in the principality.

It is of course to Arsenal great Thierry Henry that Mbappe, who has scored 23 goals in 37 club appearances this season, is most consistently compared but Pires believes such links are wide of the mark.

"The comparison is unnecessary, he's not ready to be compared to Thierry. Mbappe is a very similar player but to compare the two players would be unfair.

“I hope that Kylian can follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, he has the same profile as Thierry - quick, strong and a great finisher but he's very young so I would hold off on comparisons just yet.”