Kylian Mbappe could make Paris Saint-Germain debut vs. Metz on Friday
PARIS — Kylian Mbappe is likely to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut away at FC Metz on Friday after coach Unai Emery named him in the squad for the Ligue 1 clash.
Mbappe, who recently revealed he told his France teammate Ousmane Dembele to join Barcelona this summer, is included in the 18-man squad, along with Neymar and a handful of other South American internationals.
Despite the presence of the likes of captain Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Dani Alves and Marquinhos after recent international duty, Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore will not travel.
Both Argentina stars only returned to Paris on Thursday, with Di Maria also nursing an injury.
Emery expected new signing Mbappe to be ready to face Metz after training well after returning from international duty with France.
“Kylian is ready,” the Spaniard told journalists at his prematch news conference on Wednesday. “He took part in training with the rest of the squad on Monday and Tuesday even if, because he had played for France, it was rather about recovery.
“On Wednesday and Thursday, he will take part in the sessions. He is ready to be in the squad at Metz and so he could start playing with us. He really wants to get stuck into this adventure.”
Mbappe’s availability gives Emery the luxury of resting both Neymar and Cavani — if he chooses to — as both were involved in long flights back from World Cup qualifying with their respective countries.
The Basque tactician is expected to name a heavily rotated starting XI at Stade Saint-Symphorien with the hosts bottom of Ligue 1 and the start of Champions League group stage action away at Celtic in Glasgow coming up early next week.
As well as Di Maria and Pastore, Marco Verratti will also miss out as he serves the second of his three-match ban.
Out-of-favour Hatem Ben Arfa has been banished to the reserves, while youngsters Antoine Bernede, Lorenzo Callegari, Remy Descamps, Moussa Diaby and Alec Georgen did not make the cut.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.