Neil Humphreys: Mbappe's too good for EPL
Neither Three Lions nor an English club can get near him
Without knowing it, Kylian Mbappe has highlighted English football's laughable sense of self-importance.
He was an otherworldly figure at the Stade de France yesterday morning (Singapore time), an alien presence that left clumsy Englishmen wanting to phone home and escape.
The rising menace from Monaco did everything for 10-man France except score in their comfortable 3-2 win over Gareth Southgate's guileless XI in the friendly match.
And yet most British media reports link the wunderkind with all the usual suspects in the English Premier League, highlighting both his undoubted pedigree and the EPL's inflated opinion of itself.
Mbappe operated on a different wavelength to the Three Lions. It was boy against men and barely a fair fight. The men were slow, cumbersome and predictable, never capable of halting the French battering ram.
Against England's disjointed back three, the 18-year-old was a silk purse surrounded by sows' ears.
The only thing he might have in common with potential EPL teammates would be wages. But Real Madrid are already willing to show Mbappe the money.
After the game, the giddy teenager claimed that the La Liga and Champions League double winners have monitored his progress since he was 14. Their manager also happens to be a national hero in his homeland.
Zinedine Zidane seems to be preparing the groundwork for Mbappe's arrival, with Real finalising plans to offload Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez.
It's the right move, perhaps the only move.
Mbappe is made for Madrid.
His speed in possession was second only to his speed of thought. His unflappable demeanour and muscular dominance against England underlined his suitability for the Bernabeu.
His one-sided battle with John Stones was reason enough not to move to England.
Manchester City threw down £50 million (S$87.8m) to sign the finest indigenous talent that the EPL supposedly had to offer, the apparent future of England defending.
Against Mbappe, Stones looked like a confused kid who'd won a competition to train with a professional footballer for the evening, ready to burst into tears at any moment because he couldn't quite believe the gulf in talent.
Stones is still considered one of the best centre backs in the EPL, a ludicrous claim that only magnifies the league's inability to burst its own bubble and recognise English football's ongoing malaise.
A year on from the Three Lions' humiliation against Iceland, they remain a disorganised, uncertain group, still tinkering with personnel and formations and still toiling against credible opposition.
Harry Kane's brace wasn't enough to stop the French, who scored through Samuel Umtiti, Djibril Sidibe and Ousmane Dembele.
Southgate has now played France, Spain and Germany and hasn't won any of them, losing two and drawing against Spain.
In a bizarre 3-4-3, he went with an unfamiliar trio at the back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a central midfield role he was clearly ill-suited for.
In other words, Southgate opted for a line-up with the wrong players, relying on a holding midfielder of the calibre that England simply do not have.
France had two in N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. The pair held the English in a chokehold and freed the delightful Dembele to feed Mbappe.
The French kids displayed the twinkle-toed exuberance of hormonal teenagers on prom night, dancing in the Parisian moonlight.
Even when Raphael Varane was sent off in the 47th minute, England failed to mind the gaps in central midfield. Mbappe ran them ragged.
Jack Butland denied the Monaco striker twice. Mbappe also hit a post and released Dembele for the eventual winner.
The combined age of Mbappe and Dembele is just 38 and yet their intelligent movement were beyond anything that England's huffers and puffers had to offer.
The pair also brought out the best in Pogba.
Surrounded by speed, the uninhibited midfielder held court in the centre circle, free to show off the passing range that made his name at Juventus.
For much of the season at Manchester United, Pogba looked lost. With Dembele and Mbappe around him, he looked liberated.
Mbappe should take Pogba's fluctuating fortunes into consideration when he ponders a career change.
It's not about the money. It's about the men around him. No EPL side can rival Real Madrid's depth of talent.
Gary Cahill, Phil Jones and Stones are about as good as it gets in English football and Mbappe left them sliding into different postcodes.
But his meteoric rise may plateau if he remains at Monaco. He deserves a chance to be first among equals.
England's biggest clubs can all deliver the cash. But only Real can deliver Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mbappe is ready to play apprentice to the Portuguese master. One night in Paris suggested the two men are made for each other.