4. Kylian Mbappe
From taking selfies with Ronaldo in his childhood to being mentioned as a potential replacement and the heir apparent to the best player in the world throne, it feels as though Kylian Mbappe is far older than 19 years old. Given he has carved defenses open for three goals and showed otherworldly pace already this World Cup, and has helped France shrug off a sluggish start to reach the final, defenders may agree.
Beyond his World Cup performance, his 21-goal output in all competitions for PSG may not provide the same amount of reassurance as other candidates on this list in terms of production, but his youth means his ceiling could one day reach Ronaldo’s level. His age also means he could provide more years of play than other candidates.
Similarly to Ronaldo, Mbappe has shown he can function in wide areas as well as centrally when it comes to finishing, which offers a positional versatility that could be just as important for Madrid long-term as putting the ball in the net.
The question is how much he’ll cost. Mbappe cost PSG £166 million, and if he moves again, the transfer value may be even greater. That’s not to say money is an issue for Florentino Perez (it never is) but just how much is he willing to spend? £200 million, 250? Mbappe seems like the full package, and is likely to keep improving, but even so, his transfer fee is likely to be insane.