Real Madrid: Why Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe are perfect for each other

Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid are preparing a summer 2022 transfer window for the ages. Kylian Mbappe is fully expected to make his way to the Santiago Bernabeu in the biggest move of the summer, one year after his attempted move to the Spanish capital fell apart due to PSG’s stubbornness. It won’t stop at Mbappe, of course, as Los Blancos also have interest in assorted role players like fellow free agent Antonio Rudiger, and the Erling Haaland pursuit is only just beginning.

But Mbappe will be the crown jewel of the 2022 summer window, which is meant to be a statement window of sorts from Real Madrid with the new Bernabeu set to open in full force. Real are gunning for the top spot again, out to prove to all the state-owned clubs that they are still the biggest brand in the business.

Mbappe’s arrival at Real Madrid will be a shakeup in many ways, just about all positive. Perhaps some anticipate a negative at the left wing position and some friction, but Mbappe is not expected to change Vinicius Junior’s status in the organization.

Far from it, in fact. If anything, Vinicius and Mbappe can only benefit from each other. Since Vinicius is much better on the left-hand side and Mbappe won a World Cup on the right, the new signing would take on Gareth Bale’s old role in the attack.

Kylian Mbappe and Vinicius Junior are the elite

Mbappe is at his best on the left, but the difference between Mbappe on the left and right should not be a huge one. And when looking at the underlying numbers, there is reason to believe that Mbappe on the right side of Madrid’s attack will be more dangerous than most of the other versions of Mbappe that we have seen – obviously including Mbappe at RW for France.

So far this season, Vinicius Junior has 10 goals and 4 assists in LaLiga with two goals and three assists in the Champions League. He is in the 97th percentile at his position in progressive carries, 95th in dribbles completed, and 96 in touches in the opposition’s penalty box.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe has also been prolific as PSG’s superstar among superstars. The former Monaco man has nine goals and nine assists in Ligue 1 with four goals and four assists in the Champions League. He is in the 99th percentile in progressive carries, 98th in dribbles completed, and 99th in touches in the opposition’s penalty area.

Both Vinicius and Mbappe are putting up incredible numbers and dominating the position as goal-scorers, assist-providers, and overall attacking threats in every sense of building and finishing attacks. They are two of the best in the world and quite literally the benchmark on the wings. So having these two players on either wing would be incredible.

Mbappe does a lot more than just score goals

Look at Mbappe’s numbers especially closely, though. This is a guy branded in the media as a goal-scorer who is out to score, and while he is indeed someone with the potential to bag 50 goals in a season, he is so much more than a scorer. His underlying numbers show someone who is even better than Vinicius at assisting and creating chances, including from carrying the ball forward. Mbappe does so much at PSG that is taken for granted.

We saw in the World Cup – among other competitions – that Mbappe can score in ways other than cutting in from the left side onto his right foot. And this season, we are seeing Mbappe emerge as an elite playmaker. With 13 assists in all competitions, he is leading the pack in Europe. He can do all those creative things just as well – if not better – from the right side, where you figure his crossing (especially those low, driven crosses he’s so good at and that cause chaos on counters) would be even more lethal.

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Vinicius Junior and Kylian Mbappe were meant to play together. As we saw with Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid, when you put two world-class wingers at their peaks on the same team, everything opens up. Real Madrid fans should be ready to see the goal and assist totals for these two to explode even further, because their other attacking analytics show that with just one more superstar in their attacking trident, they would convert even more of their possession into production.