When will the French tap run dry?...

Rozay

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Ribéry is older I would put him with Evra and it wasn't a great generation either in terms of depth, they also played their part in the downturn. But it's kind of why I believe that the answer to the OP is probably never, France do not rely on luck but scouting and coaching, it's the entire system that is productive, so even one or two generations are great they still produce top players and the next one does the same or better. The only chronical issue is with fullbacks, we don't produce them often.
Ironically, they have probably about half of the 8 or so most expensive full-backs ever - even more depending on how you want to classify Lucas Hernandez in terms of position.
 

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In Feb 2006, Raul ended an 11 month goal drought FFS. Nearly as long as Lingard's run (in which he barely played of course). The streakiest striker I can remember.

Gareth Barry is the record appearance holder for the Prem and has lots of goals and assists too, he's not getting in anyone's top 5 list any time either though.
so you picked his one off season to say he was inconsistent?

For 9 straight seasons from 1996-2004 he averaged 25 goals a season as a support striker and attacking midfielder sometimes. This is in the era of strikers averaging 1 in 2. Sir Alex said Raul is the striker he wished he could of signed.

Gareth Barry has f all goals and assists averaging one goal or assist contribution every 7/8 games. Raul was not only listed in top 5 during his player career as he often won individual accolades for being the "top striker" during his active career, if you care to check his individual accolades.

The Barry mention is bizarre.
 

JPRouve

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Ironically, they have probably about half of the 8 or so most expensive full-backs ever - even more depending on how you want to classify Lucas Hernandez in terms of position.
I wouldn't class Lucas Hernandez at all, he is a spanish product. And the fullback situation is strange because I don't think that the current ones are better than someone like Sagnol, the standards in that position are in my opinion low.
 

TheReligion

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Martial arts no? So the current third nation in Judo or the nation with the second largest amount of medals in Karaté WC isn't good?
I'd look at top MMA fighters and Boxers and don't recall any of note from France tbh. I'm talking the highest level.

How do you define "excels at sport" and which countries do, outside of the USA and China?

France excel at cycling having multiple Grand Tour winners
France excel at Tennis, regularly producing top 10 ranked players compared to other nations
France Excel at Rugby - They have reached 3 rugby world cups finals out of 9 tournaments and finished 3rd once.
France excel at Basketball - won FIBA world cup medals and finished second in Olympics twice,
France excel at racing - producing more champions than I can name.
France excel at Handball - current reigning olympic and Euro champs
France excel at Skiing - produced more world champs than I can name.
France excel at Judo - Only Japan has won more olympic medals
I think you are both scraping the barrel here. I would argue the home nations (GB and NI) do much better all round than France within a multitude of sports. Given its population France should be doing much much more although clearly football is a strength and has been for some time.
 

Rozay

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I wouldn't class Lucas Hernandez at all, he is a spanish product. And the fullback situation is strange because I don't think that the current ones are better than someone like Sagnol, the standards in that position are in my opinion low.
Yea, I agree that they are not that great, or haven’t necessarily kicked on as hoped - but I think they have produced talent. At present, they have Ferland and Ben Mendy, who both transferred for £50m+ each, and another can get into the French team! The likes of Luca Digne is also a very good player too, and Sidibe and Kurzawa have had their moments. It’s not a GREAT bunch from an all-time level, but certainly respectable options I think.

The generation before had Evra and Clichy fighting for a spot, and Sagna and Abidal around too. Thuram, Sagnol and Lizarazu was a great era too.
 

BalanceUnAutreJoint

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You are underrating Mbappé, his dribbling technique and passing isn’t just decent it is very good.

Ok not to the level of Neymar but he is faster and just as accomplished a finisher if not more, also Cherki from the little I’ve seen him doesn’t have dribbling or the dexterity of Neymar also, and to add to that he is slower than both by a decent margin which counts for a lot, pace is a killer in football and when you have someone like Mbappe who blends the right iq and technical ability with pace you’ve got a world beater, Cherki doesn’t seem as athletic and the best athletes generally tend to be the best footballers when you get to the very very top the level which the likes of both Ronaldos Ronaldinho Pele Best occupy, you literally have to be a Messi or Maradona( who we’re not slouches themselves) like figure to reach those levels without it.
Watch him again because he definitely has the dribbling and dexterity of Neymar. At 16 he is already a much better dribbler than Mbappe I guarantee you that.
Mbappe's dribbling technique isn't "very good", he isn't one of the best dribblers in Ligue 1 statistically let alone one of the best in Europe as a whole, It's good but nothing exceptional
Cherki isn't athletic? At 16 he is fending off grown men who are much bigger than him. Pace isn't all there is to being athletic, he is very similar to Hazard in that regard, nowhere near being slow while having the upper body strength to beat defenders out of a press. At his age Mbappe was getting bullied by 4th division players in National 2 and needed an extra year of growth to be ready to face off against full-grown men.

As for that list you've made at the end, none of Pele,Ronaldinho or even Best are comparable to Messi, if you meant to compare Mbappe to any of them, that'd be Cristiano but he doesn't have Cristiano's aerial game or his ability to score set pieces, the comparisons with R9 begins and end with his pace/power, R9 was a far better dribbler on the ball and would ask for it very often while Mbappe attacks space and play between the lines.

@TheReligion MMA is illegal in France. Hard to produce fighters in this context. Also you don't "recall any of note" ? Are you sure you're following MMA? Francis Ngannou is one of the most talked about heavyweight in the UFC and he fights out of France.
 

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I'd look at top MMA fighters and Boxers and don't recall any of note from France tbh. I'm talking the highest level.



I think you are both scraping the barrel here. I would argue the home nations (GB and NI) do much better all round than France within a multitude of sports. Given its population France should be doing much much more although clearly football is a strength and has been for some time.
They don't I checked. Great Britain and NI have basically only champs in boxing. Athletics, cycling, Golf, Motorsport. Solid cricket team, decent rowing team and snooker players.
The population argument is irrelevant as the initial statement was that they don't really excel at anything else when they clearly have world champs in other sports
 

TheReligion

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They don't I checked. Great Britain and NI have basically only champs in boxing. Athletics, cycling, Golf, Motorsport. Solid cricket team, decent rowing team and snooker players.
The population argument is irrelevant as the initial statement was that they don't really excel at anything else when they clearly have world champs in other sports
I'm not sure what you're saying here. They don't but then you listed a load of things they are better at than the French?

Athletics, Cricket, Rugby League and Union, Motorsport, Cycling, Snooker, Darts, Golf, Boxing, MMA (Michael Bisping is a hall of famer for example).

Just off the top of my head.
 

Infordin

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Bakayoko was never rated, Dembélé, Fékir and Tolisso had big injuries and neither Fékir nor Tolisso were considered to be future world class players. And France has never counted on any of them.
Lloris has been declining for years
Varane is in decline
Umtiti is injury prone and in decline
Kante is in decline
Matuidi has certainly declined a lot
Pogba seems injury prone
Griezmann is in decline

Many of their key players at the World Cup are not as good as they were in 2018.
 

BalanceUnAutreJoint

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Lloris has been declining for years
Varane is in decline
Umtiti is injury prone and in decline
Kante is in decline
Matuidi has certainly declined a lot
Pogba seems injury prone
Griezmann is in decline

Many of their key players at the World Cup are not as good as they were in 2018.
It doesn't matter because the generation coming up is better than that one.
Varane isn't in decline.
Umtiti? We have Saliba,Konaté,Upamecano,Zagadou and that's not counting Lenglet and Laporte who are the same age as Umtiti. CB is by far our most stacked position, we're not gonna run short of them anytime soon.
Kante has struggled with injuries, It's a big jump to say he's in decline,
Agree with Matuidi, he shouldn't be starting anymore, Ndombele should take his spot if he can fix his fitness issues, otherwise we have Aouar and Camavinga in the future.
Pogba seems injury prone because he's had 1 long injury? Eh doesn't check out.
Griezmann isn't in decline, he is out of his comfort zone at Barcelona. Regardless we're not short of attacking players.

I'll also add that when Deschamps is gone we can transition into a different playstyle that won't require workhorses at midfield, we don't need to find another Kante or Matuidi or even another Griezmann.

Out of our WC starters Mbappe,Lucas Hernandez,Pogba,Varane all have a long term future given their age and talent, jury is still out on Pavard but that's most of our best players right there.
 

JPRouve

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Lloris has been declining for years
Varane is in decline
Umtiti is injury prone and in decline
Kante is in decline
Matuidi has certainly declined a lot
Pogba seems injury prone
Griezmann is in decline

Many of their key players at the World Cup are not as good as they were in 2018.
That's a different topic, you are basically listing players that are getting older but not really addressing the point that you made, which was that it's already drying up as if the likes of Camavinga, Aouar, Cherki, Mbappé, Upamecano, Konaté, Kouassi, Mejbri, Ikoné and many others aren't already showing themselves. And that's while you decided to dismiss Ndombélé, Rabiot and Dembélé who are under 25 years old.
If your point is that french players have the ability to get older then you are right.
 

André Dominguez

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Lloris has been declining for years
Varane is in decline
Umtiti is injury prone and in decline
Kante is in decline
Matuidi has certainly declined a lot
Pogba seems injury prone
Griezmann is in decline

Many of their key players at the World Cup are not as good as they were in 2018.
I don't think they are much worried with all the quality depth they have at all those positions.
 

Infordin

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It doesn't matter because the generation coming up is better than that one.
That's a different topic, you are basically listing players that are getting older but not really addressing the point that you made, which was that it's already drying up as if the likes of Camavinga, Aouar, Cherki, Mbappé, Upamecano, Konaté, Kouassi, Mejbri, Ikoné and many others aren't already showing themselves. And that's while you decided to dismiss Ndombélé, Rabiot and Dembélé who are under 25 years old.
I don't think they are much worried with all the quality depth they have at all those positions.
There is absolutely no guarantee that all these young French players you listed are going to become good enough to replace the current generation.

I still remember when Germany won the 2017 confederations cup with their B-team. People were waxing lyrical about how great the next German generation was going to be. Who cars if Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Klose, Muller, Ozil, etc... are retiring or in decline? They have so many great young players coming up like Ginter, Kimmich, Meyer, Gnabry, Can, Goretzka, etc... Well, now fast forward a few years and suddenly things don't look so simple anymore.

I am still waiting for Koke, Saul, Isco, and Thiago to take over where Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Alonso left off.

Remember when Ousmane Dembele was supposed to be the next big thing?

By far the vast majority of talented youngsters don't turn into elite players. From all those "amazing" young talents @JPRouve listed (Camavinga, Aouar, Cherki, Mbappé, Upamecano, Konaté, Kouassi, Mejbri, Ikoné) there's a decent change that none of them apart from Mbappe ever become world class.
 

JPRouve

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There is absolutely no guarantee that all these young French players you listed are going to become good enough to replace the current generation.

I still remember when Germany won the 2017 confederations cup with their B-team. People were waxing lyrical about how great the next German generation was going to be. Who cars if Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Klose, Muller, Ozil, etc... are retiring or in decline? They have so many great young players coming up like Ginter, Kimmich, Meyer, Gnabry, Can, Goretzka, etc... Well, now fast forward a few years and suddenly things don't look so simple anymore.

I am still waiting for Koke, Saul, Isco, and Thiago to take over where Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Alonso left off.

Remember when Ousmane Dembele was supposed to be the next big thing?

By far the vast majority of talented youngsters don't turn into elite players. From all those "amazing" young talents @JPRouve listed (Camavinga, Aouar, Cherki, Mbappé, Upamecano, Konaté, Kouassi, Mejbri, Ikoné) there's a decent change that none of them apart from Mbappe ever become world class.
That's not the point, you claimed that it was already drying up when you have no clue and no one else does. What we do know is that France is still producing high level talents and only time will tell us whether they achieve it or not. You seem to struggle with the idea of the OP, it's not about short term and not about one generation.
 

JPRouve

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Martial
Lemar
Lacazette
Upamecano
Konate
Diop
Laporte
Camavinga
Aouar
Dembele (Moussa)
And in all of the hype around Upamecano and Konaté, most people have totally overlooked Mukiele and Nkunku.
 

Infordin

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That's not the point, you claimed that it was already drying up when you have no clue and no one else does. What we do know is that France is still producing high level talents and only time will tell us whether they achieve it or not. You seem to struggle with the idea of the OP, it's not about short term and not about one generation.
This question will be answered by Euro 2024. That’s when I reckon the generation of Griezmann, Pogba, Varane, Kante and co will be at the end of their cycle. I suspect that this “incredible” new generation of French players will in fact turn out to be nowhere near as good as the previous generation. Time will tell who’s right.
 

JPRouve

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This question will be answered by Euro 2024. That’s when I reckon the generation of Griezmann, Pogba, Varane, Kante and co will be at the end of their cycle. I suspect that this “incredible” new generation of French players will in fact turn out to be nowhere near as good as the previous generation. Time will tell who’s right.
No one used the terms incredible or amazing except you. You are the one who made conclusions on pretty much everything and seemingly managed to work yourself up, now you are talking about 2024.
 

Rozay

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This question will be answered by Euro 2024. That’s when I reckon the generation of Griezmann, Pogba, Varane, Kante and co will be at the end of their cycle. I suspect that this “incredible” new generation of French players will in fact turn out to be nowhere near as good as the previous generation. Time will tell who’s right.
The only reason you can have for your suspicion is ‘anything can happen’. The group of players we are talking about are currently best placed to be the next amazing generation, perhaps alongside the English. If we’re going to play the ‘nobody knows what will happen in the future’ game, then there’s no point in any projecting at all.
 

BalanceUnAutreJoint

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Some people need to stop treating football as lottery. Saying there's a decent chance none of our young talents aside of Mbappe end up being world class is just straight up delusional. We have produced world class players out of a much weaker generation (Varane,Pogba, Kante, Griezmann)
 

JPRouve

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I’m not sure Mukiele and Nkunku are £50m-£60m players on a normal market tbh.
I don't think that Mukiele is any worse than the Mendys but the point was more about other players that are doing really well in the same team than hyped french players.
 

Righteous Steps

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Why do people keep saying this? Nothing has changed
The young players below the u19 level are better, plus you’ve got generational players like Sancho and TAA who are already the best players in their respective positions in each of their leagues, coupled with potential world class players like Rashford Gomez Greenwood Foden Saka etc there is a lot of talent, but most importantly the players below the senior and u21 levels are as good as any in the world.
 

Righteous Steps

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Watch him again because he definitely has the dribbling and dexterity of Neymar. At 16 he is already a much better dribbler than Mbappe I guarantee you that.
Mbappe's dribbling technique isn't "very good", he isn't one of the best dribblers in Ligue 1 statistically let alone one of the best in Europe as a whole, It's good but nothing exceptional
Cherki isn't athletic? At 16 he is fending off grown men who are much bigger than him. Pace isn't all there is to being athletic, he is very similar to Hazard in that regard, nowhere near being slow while having the upper body strength to beat defenders out of a press. At his age Mbappe was getting bullied by 4th division players in National 2 and needed an extra year of growth to be ready to face off against full-grown men.

As for that list you've made at the end, none of Pele,Ronaldinho or even Best are comparable to Messi, if you meant to compare Mbappe to any of them, that'd be Cristiano but he doesn't have Cristiano's aerial game or his ability to score set pieces, the comparisons with R9 begins and end with his pace/power, R9 was a far better dribbler on the ball and would ask for it very often while Mbappe attacks space and play between the lines.

@TheReligion MMA is illegal in France. Hard to produce fighters in this context. Also you don't "recall any of note" ? Are you sure you're following MMA? Francis Ngannou is one of the most talked about heavyweight in the UFC and he fights out of France.
You know more than me so I’ll take your word for it, plus I think the Cristiano comparison is relevant because there are a small number of more skilled players who haven’t achieved what he has(he’s crap at set pieces as well by the way).
 

Rozay

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I don't think that Mukiele is any worse than the Mendys but the point was more about other players that are doing really well in the same team than hyped french players.
I get you. I said earlier, in defence of the quality of French players as Infordin was doubting it, that I reckon France have at least 10 £50m-£60m players I that struggle to get into the French squad. He challenged me to name them so I did.

There are probably even more. If I dropped it to £40m there’s probably about 20.
 

Righteous Steps

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Personally, I don't think a team that has to depend on Giroud as their number 9 is as good as their results...
I agree the level of completion was lower but they still have Mbappe Kante Pogba Griezmann Varane alongside Giroud. I really dislike Deschamps style of managing though.
 

paraguayo

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Personally, I don't think a team that has to depend on Giroud as their number 9 is as good as their results...
Couldn't they have picked Benzema though? I never took the time to read why he wasn't called up, probably that black mail thing
 

Infordin

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The only reason you can have for your suspicion is ‘anything can happen’. The group of players we are talking about are currently best placed to be the next amazing generation, perhaps alongside the English. If we’re going to play the ‘nobody knows what will happen in the future’ game, then there’s no point in any projecting at all.
Argentina won 5 out of 7 under-20 World Cups between 1995 to 2007. The last international trophy Argentina have won at senior level was in 1993.

I'll believe it when I see it. As it stands right now, I see no evidence to suggest that the next generation of France players is any more talented than those of England, Germany, Italy, Spain or Brazil.
 

kidbob

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It'll never 'run dry'. What will happen is some other big nation will produce a generation of better players then them and become more successful. When Brazil were producing the best talent it's not that no other nation weren't producing great talent too it's just that Brazil were better. For example Spain have always produced great players but it just happens that at one point they produced the 'best' generation.

This is particularly applicable to England. They have very rarely failed to produce very good players it's just that a lot of their talent are judged on their lack of international trophies and this leads to thought of England going through a slump of talent. Now this England team are rated at great despite the fact that the quality of player is likely lower overall than the Rooney/Gerrard era. They seem to have another 'golden generation' coming but if they fail to win an international trophy but perform to a great level club wise then they will be rated lower.

This works in reverse too. For instance Pogba is rated amongst France's best players but his ability is being questioned at club level in a non championship level team. If this doesn't change then historically Pogba will have question marks over him. Take Rooney, for example , as the classic case of he isn't so good because he failed at big tournaments for England.

Most of the big nations are constantly creating great players but we don't generally notice unless they are successful at a tournament. Gerrard is almost remembered as a player Liverpool produced rather than England produced.

In terms of France the talent level may drop a bit but still produce top players. This happened to Spain, their current generation is still very very good its just not as good as one of the best generations ever produced immediately prior to them. Their tap hasn't 'run dry' it's just that now they are now producing very good players instead of the very best.

You want to see a tap really run dry then look at Ireland. We used to have both Keanes, Duff and many others and now we have no one near that level. Hell we don't have anyone near the level of O'Shea or Dunne. That's a tap running dry not some bigger nation producing slightly less great players.

It could be a load of shit to be honest but that's my two cents.
 

Rozay

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I'd take M'Bappe and Kante and that's it. The OP said they have world class players all over the field and I just don't see it...
Mbappe, Kanté, Griezmann, Varane, Pogba are all current world class players, which is half their first XI. The supporting cast are better than most team’s players too with the likes of Umtiti, Pavard, Hernandez. They play the likes of Matuidi and Giroud to run and jump, but they have more talented players than them as alternatives if they didn’t feel it upset the balance.
 

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They have some great players but not as much as people think, Mbappé/Griezmann/Lucas Hernandez are world class for sure and Pogba can be when he cba, the others are good players but nothing special (including Varane)

The level of the senior men national team is kinda shit right now to be fair and france took advantage of it in the World cup but I dont see them winning another competition with Deschamps coaching them.
 

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Mbappe, Kanté, Griezmann, Varane, Pogba are all current world class players, which is half their first XI. The supporting cast are better than most team’s players too with the likes of Umtiti, Pavard, Hernandez. They play the likes of Matuidi and Giroud to run and jump, but they have more talented players than them as alternatives if they didn’t feel it upset the balance.
Disagree. Griezzmann is the most over rated player since Ramos and while Pogba can be world class, he isn't consistant enough. I also think that Varane gets more credit than he deserves. They are a good team and deserve to be a favourite for Euro's, but I don't think they are above any of the other favourites and nowhere near how good Spain were in their run of dominance..
 

Rozay

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Disagree. Griezzmann is the most over rated player since Ramos and while Pogba can be world class, he isn't consistant enough. I also think that Varane gets more credit than he deserves. They are a good team and deserve to be a favourite for Euro's, but I don't think they are above any of the other favourites and nowhere near how good Spain were in their run of dominance..
Griezmann has been consistently showing up for years. Pogba’s inconsistency is massively overstated, become more a fact by way of repetition than anything else. There aren’t three better midfielders than him in world football, and even three is a push. Varane has also shown up big time for years. Won a treble of CLs and was imperious in the World Cup. There also aren’t 3 better centre halves than him in the world. If we could somehow pair him with Maguire we’d be the best team in the league just like that I reckon.

I appreciate that it’s all about opinions, but if these players are not world class, who is? What is a world class midfielder if not Pogba? De Bruyne and who else? In the role Griezmann plays, who is better, aside from Messi? More importantly, who has been better over the last 4 years? Firmino?!! As for Varane, we have Van Dijk, maybe Koulibaily and that’s it. I think it is you not giving due credit here personally.
 

JPRouve

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Griezmann has been consistently showing up for years. Pogba’s inconsistency is massively overstated, become more a fact by way of repetition than anything else. There aren’t three better midfielders than him in world football, and even three is a push. Varane has also shown up big time for years. Won a treble of CLs and was imperious in the World Cup. There also aren’t 3 better centre halves than him in the world. If we could somehow pair him with Maguire we’d be the best team in the league just like that I reckon.

I appreciate that it’s all about opinions, but if these players are not world class, who is? What is a world class midfielder if not Pogba? De Bruyne and who else? In the role Griezmann plays, who is better, aside from Messi? More importantly, who has been better over the last 4 years? Firmino?!! As for Varane, we have Van Dijk, maybe Koulibaily and that’s it. I think it is you not giving due credit here personally.
Who happens to be french and formed in France.
 

Sayros

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But that's what Mbappe is. A freakish goalscorer. The fact that you have to bring up a WC game where we played on the counter all game long to find a case of Mbappe creating something is telling a lot.
Mbappe is not a creator for PSG. He is not only behind Neymar but also behind Di Maria when it comes to setting the pace and being at the heart of a team. He does have some decent dribbling, passing and is good technically but he's nowhere near Neymar in these aspects of his game. Killer pace, game sense and positioning are his strength that make him one of the best player in the world but he'll never be the most complete attacker around.

We've been disappointed by players of Cherki's profile but not a single one of them was as talented as him, not even Ben Arfa.

I maintain he is far ahead of where Mbappe was at his age, Cherki had already scored 2 goals and assisted 2 others in a single game at 16 years old and 5 months old. Mbappe didn't make his debut until he was 16 years and 11 month Olds, didn't score his first goal until he was 17 and 2 months old. To find a game of his of a similar calibeer to that of Cherki vs Nantes you need to go to December 2016 just one week before his 18th birthday where he scored his first career hat trick

Being unplayable at the u19 euro championship is nice but Cherki at u19 level is even better at a younger age. Putting up never seen statistics such as 18 dribbles in a single youth league game.

Obviously that's from a talent and precocity and no one is safe from a career ending injury but this kid is one of a kind and the praise scouts and coaches have had for him isn't built off nothing. Especially at a club that had Benzema, Ben Arfa, Fekir, Martial
No, Mbappe is a complete threat, he can create and score, I used the Belgium example because it was a pretty well-known case of him being the best offensive player for France without scoring a single goal, and he created the most chances out of anybody, including Hazard who many thought was the best player in that game. There's countless other examples I could cite on how you're wrong about him just being a freakish goalscorer. Just because he's behind Neymar and Di Maria (who's sole job is to create, while Neymar can do anything and is the second best player in the world), it's just not working out in your favor as far as reducing him to just a goalscorer, and I thought you watched him more than that but maybe not. At the end of the day, he creates a big chunk of chances for PSG on a regular basis, and even if his focus is more on goals, I would never just call him a freakish goalscorer (that's more fitting for a player like Haaland). Cherki is nowhere near Neymar as well in any categories including dribbling, if we're going to use him as a barometer.

And as far as no one has been as talented as him, again, you don't know how talented Cherki really is. I've seen all of his games too, I follow him very closely, but you seem to think that talent at 16 is the same as talent at 20, or showing your talent at a world cup/euro or league/CL against grown men who've known your game for years and prepared for it. When he does that, I'll be happy to say he's got everything to succeed but it doesn't just come down to injuries on why Cherki or any of the most talented players could fail to live up to their potential, no matter how sure of a talent they look in youth competitions.

No one is saying the praise came from nothing, but 18 dribbles in a youth game doesn't do anything at the professional level. I think he's rightfully put as the top talent in world football, but it means very little if it doesn't translate to the professional level. He was good against Nantes (the game you referenced), he was pedestrian against PSG. It's just too soon to make any sort of definitive statements about how his talent will translate at the next level, especially once defenders and coaches focus on him. Mbappe has at least shown he can be consistently better, each season he is improving his output against teams that are coached to stop him for the last 2-3 years now.

If Cherki can do that as well after he bursts fully onto the scene, then he's got a great chance at being one of the (if not the) best players in the world, but I think it's fair to say it's still a very long shot and let's just cool off and let him develop. I hope the rumors about him already thinking of leaving Lyon is just media nonsense and he gets to stay there at least another couple of seasons so he can develop without massive pressure of being the most talented teenage player in the world coming to a new league.

@TheReligion MMA is illegal in France. Hard to produce fighters in this context. Also you don't "recall any of note" ? Are you sure you're following MMA? Francis Ngannou is one of the most talked about heavyweight in the UFC and he fights out of France.
I wouldn't claim Ngannou, he came to France from Nigeria as a grown man and was trained in France but that doesn't make him a French fighter. Teddy Riner is probably the best example of French dominance in combat, even if it's not MMA. Like you said, MMA has been illegal in France (although that is going to change soon) and I expect we will see more fighters coming out of France and entering the MMA world.
 
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SadlerMUFC

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Griezmann has been consistently showing up for years. Pogba’s inconsistency is massively overstated, become more a fact by way of repetition than anything else. There aren’t three better midfielders than him in world football, and even three is a push. Varane has also shown up big time for years. Won a treble of CLs and was imperious in the World Cup. There also aren’t 3 better centre halves than him in the world. If we could somehow pair him with Maguire we’d be the best team in the league just like that I reckon.

I appreciate that it’s all about opinions, but if these players are not world class, who is? What is a world class midfielder if not Pogba? De Bruyne and who else? In the role Griezmann plays, who is better, aside from Messi? More importantly, who has been better over the last 4 years? Firmino?!! As for Varane, we have Van Dijk, maybe Koulibaily and that’s it. I think it is you not giving due credit here personally.
Completely disagree about Pogba. He maybe one of the top 3 in terms of talent and what he could be, but he is lacking in heart, and there is a huge difference between being better and having the talent to be better. Pogba has the talent to be the best, but no top 3 midfielder in the world will ever get out played by Mark fecking Noble even if they are having their worst game ever. As for Varane, I think he's a good player, just not as good as people make him out to be. You seem to think there are only 2 better defenders in the world. Many will say he's not even the best defender on his team (which I completely disagree with). And if he did join our team, he would be our 3rd best defender and second best centre half...