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Kylian Mbappe: The Tenth Man Rule

Will Newcastle United really sign the Frenchman this summer!?

France v Greece: Group D - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Getty Images

Zombie apocalypse movies and Newcastle United may seem an unusual combination but I am bringing them together today.

In the 2013 flick World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, there was a question of how the Israelis had come to be prepared for the onslaught of zombies in advance. Ludi Boeken’s character explains how Israel’s past intelligence failures led them to adopt a policy that if the first nine people agree then it is the tenth man’s responsibility to take on the intel as committed that the opposite is correct. This is The Tenth Man Rule.

Nine out of nine people will say there is no way Kylian Mbappe is coming home to Newcastle. So I will take on the role of the tenth man and make the arguments for the impossible to happen.

In my previous article, A Study on Wages and Ages, there were four litmus test questions that had to be answered in the affirmative. Kylian obviously makes the team better being that he is a generational talent. For the sake of this argument, we will presume that he has the character to blend well with the squad. For the moment, I am tabling the questions about is a move financially possible and if the player wants to come to Newcastle.

The next section asked if the player's age and wages fit the set structure.

At age 24 (he’ll turn 25 in December), he definitely is young enough to give the club many years during his prime. A counterargument to the prior article is that if Mbappe is available, for a player that is so unusual to hit the open market, the usual pay structure does not have to be followed and other players will want to be on a team being as aggressive to win as recruiting arguably the best player in the world today.

Now let’s go back to the question if he wants to be at Newcastle. Of course, we are in the Champions League and the Premier League is arguably the best football league in the world. A move to Newcastle allows him to continue to compete at the highest level in Europe while also giving him the chance to take on stiffer competition week in and week out in league and domestic cup play.

Next, there is the story from June, 2021 where Griezmann told Mbappe that he had signed him on his Football Manager Newcastle team and had won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, and Super Cup.

Kylian’s response to understanding this was Newcastle was “‘It is not very warm there.” Now granted, this is not a glowing endorsement but he also did not say “No—I would never go there.” So in the infamous words of Jim Carrey in the movie Dumb and Dumber, “So you are telling me there’s a chance!”

And do you know that Kylian owns a business? A year or two ago he started up a production business that has a multi-year content creation partnership with the NBA in the USA. Kylian chose to name that business “Zebra Valley.” It seems a natural fit to now come wear black and white stripes.

So with all of these things noted, there are ways to twist this argument in Newcastle’s favor, and he could become willing to sign with Newcastle.

So lastly is the finances and FFP. I am now going to quote another movie, Field of Dreams, the baseball movie that starred Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones. The main theme whispered throughout the film was “Build it and he will come.” Without giving spoilers, the outcome of that movie brings me to tears and not many things do in my adult life. As it relates to our situation here, the phrase becomes “Recruit him, and the money will come.”

Mbappe has endorsements from companies such as Hublot, Nike, and EA Sports. And do not underestimate the impact of kit sales coming from around the world. Having Kylian in the fold would be like printing your own cash. Can the club make it work? It is Darren Eales’ job to make it work.

Be ready for the zombie apocalypse… Kylian Mbappe is coming home to Newcastle!

France v Greece: Group B - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images