PSG boss Pochettino told he must ‘cure’ Mbappe amid "unnecessary gestures"

Former Paris Saint-Germain player-manager Jean-Michel Larqué has slammed Kylian Mbappe for his recent performances, claiming the forward "has no place at Paris Saint-Germain right now".

Since December, Mbappe has scored just three Ligue 1 goals in eight games, indicating a drop off in form after he smashed nine goals in his first seven league appearances.

Larqué believes Mbappe is "complicating everything he does" and claimed he "needs a detoxification", telling French TV channel RMC Sport: "Kylian Mbappe has no place at Paris Saint-Germain right now.

"I'm not going to drill a hole in his skull and find out what's in there, but he's complicating things. He's complicating everything he does. Why is he doing rabonas? Why is he doing twelve stepovers if he's just staying in the same place?

"The boy needs a detoxification, a cure for his football which is totally polluted with unnecessary moves. What gives a boy like this his strength is his speed, but we're not seeing that anymore."

Larqué went on to say that new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino could help Mbappe get back to his best, adding: "I'm going to see if Pochettino has more courage than Tuchel, or more of a hold of Mbappe.

"I don't know the little secrets of Camp des Loges, I don't know if it was Tuchel who commanded Mbappe or the other way around.

"He needs to go clear his mind and watch some videos where he plays one-twos or drops deep for the ball. Today he wants the ball at his feet so he can ridicule his opponent.

"Obviously with his burst of speed he can get past opponents, but he will lose the ball in behind. I don't have the stats, but against OM he lost an incredible number of balls."

Mbappe has been PSG's focal point for much of the season, with Neymar featuring in just seven Ligue 1 games and missing 12 for a variety of issues, including suspension, Covid-19 and injuries.

Mbappe has been tasked with stepping up in the Brazilian's absence but the demands of the schedule appear to be taking their toll.

The French league season was curtailed early last year due to Covid and PSG returned to action in July after a four-month lay-off to play three domestic finals and complete their Champions League campaign, which saw them beaten 1-0 in the final by Bayern Munich.

Less than two weeks after the final, PSG started the new Ligue 1 season with a trip to Lens and Mbappe was absent after testing positive for Covid.

After recovering from the virus, Mbappe made his first appearance of the season in the 3-0 win over Nice in September and he has missed just two games since with a thigh problem.

The forward has been open about the difficulties of such a quick turnaround, saying: "The comeback has been complicated, especially physically, because we reached the Champions League final and we hardly had any preparation.

"Many players tested positive for coronavirus and some went with their international teams. For me, the feeling is that I'm in the 60th game of the season and not in the ninth.

"We've had a marathon of games. Generally, when you get to a Champions [League] final, you have a holiday, but we got to the final and we didn't have time to rest."

Former Newcastle and Aston Villa full-back Habib Beye believes the schedule has not given Mbappe "any time to recover or reprogramme himself".

Speaking to Canal+, Beye said: "There's not been any time for him to recover or reprogramme himself after the Champions League final.

"We should allow him to go through this difficult period on the field. You can't forget that he's only 22 years old and that he has set the bar so high that everyone is demanding. And we're right to be.

"Leave him on the field. He's not going to be good for one, two or three matches. It doesn't matter. We have to tell him that he will return to his best level.

"When I hear that Mbappe has to be taken out, that he's no longer of the level of PSG, at some point you have to be careful with what you say. He's set the standard so high, you have to be indulgent."

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