Global phenomenon Kylian Mbappe is preparing to play in the Champions League final for the first time in his already outstanding career.

At the age of 21, Mbappe could be set to add the greatest prize in club football alongside his World Cup triumph in 2018 – if PSG can overcome Bayern Munich in Lisbon on Sunday night.

Mbappe became the first teenager ever to score in a World Cup final since Pele and ever since the French international has become a footballing superstar.

Already, the former Monaco forward has registered an eye-watering 117 goals at club level.

It was in the Champions League three years ago where Mbappe set the continent alight following a Ligue 1-winning campaign with Monaco as well as a semi-final finish in Europe.

Manchester City FC v AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 21: Kylian Mbappe of AS Monaco celebrates as he scores their second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between Manchester City FC and AS Monaco at Etihad Stadium on February 21, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Former target

According to journalist Melissa Reddy, Liverpool themselves first scouted the now Paris Saint Germain phenomenon back in February 2016 when Mbappe was 17 and still a rather unknown prospect and hadn’t yet signed professional terms with Monaco.

For Liverpool supporters, it is a case of what might have been with the Reds seemingly unlikely to ever go back into the market for Mbappe.

Jurgen Klopp recently said that Liverpool have ‘absolutely no chance’ of signing the France international after the club were linked with a nine-figure move back in November 2019.

“Buying this calibre of player is difficult”, Klopp told reporters.

“I don’t see any club at the moment who can buy Kylian Mbappe from PSG. I don’t see any club, that is how it is. And we are involved in the clubs that cannot do it. It is as easy as that.

“OK, from a sporting point of view, there are not a lot of reasons to not sign him. What a player he is. But it is about the money of course. No chance. Absolutely no chance. Sorry for killing that story.”

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain F.C - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 18: Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League Semi Final match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain F.C at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 18, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Michael Regan – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Have things changed?

Liverpool’s current recruitment policy has been the hallmark of recent success over the past few years since missing out on Mbappe and the club have no interest to alter their policies since returning to the summit of English football.

 

A net spend of around £74.5m since Klopp’s appointment in 2015 showcases that Liverpool simply cannot justify being on the market for blockbuster signings such as Mbappe.

Instead, Liverpool have been more interested in striking deals for players who fulfil immediate needs at the club while also offering value for money such as the recent additions of Kostas Tsimikas and Takumi Minamino.

Even when the club are looking at replacing Liverpool’s current pedigreed front-three, players such as Mbappe will be avoided with a focus instead on the next potential generational talent.

Liverpool have navigated themselves into such a position of strength by being responsible financially and they will continue to do so.

Sporting director Michael Edwards and his recruitment staff don’t often plump for the obvious choices but instead utilise the date provided through an analytics team to instead find rough diamonds in uncharted areas of the transfer market.

Even in 2021, when the need for attacking reinforcements potentially becomes a priority, Liverpool’s stance on Mbappe still will not have changed.

Liverpool will be confident that Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who are all 28, still have three-to-four years at the top meaning that signings in the following transfer window will be on young talent such as Harvey Elliott who can make an impact by the time the aforementioned trio are eventually eased out.

Regrettably, Liverpool’s relationship with Mbappe will remain as a generational talent that fell beneath the club’s grasp.

However, Liverpool’s array of young upcoming talent demonstrates that the Reds are making attempts to ensure the next Mbappe doesn’t elude them next time around.

Liverpool have made shrewd investments in the past and they will continue to do so as the club are not about to abandon the key principles that have put the Reds back on their perch.

 

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