Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel has refuted suggestions Kylian Mbappe is difficult to manage.
Mbappe appeared to ignore Tuchel when he was substituted towards the end of last weekend’s Ligue 1 win away to Montpellier, a 3-1 comeback victory in which the France international scored his team’s second goal.
He played the entire game against Galatasaray in midweek – scoring his side’s fourth goal in a resounding 5-0 win – and Tuchel is adamant the “smart” 20-year-old does not cause him any problems.
Asked if the forward could be difficult, Tuchel told a media conference: “No – we talk too much about that. Kylian always wants to play. Sometimes he is disappointed and he shows it.
“Perhaps you have the impression that he is not easy to manage. But no. It only lasts a few minutes. He’s smart.”
PSG travel to Saint-Etienne on Sunday on a run of four consecutive Ligue 1 wins. Tuchel, however, is expecting a tough test against opponents who thrashed Nice 4-1 in their previous home fixture.
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“They’re a very competitive team that plays with a very big atmosphere behind them; a bit like in Montpellier,” he added. “They are a very physical, very compact team, which plays with many systems.
“It is not clear what to expect. It will be a tough game but we are in good shape and ready to play.”
Tuchel confirmed he will be without a number of players for Sunday’s trip, too, including Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan, who came off the bench to score a penalty against Galatasaray, “felt something in his muscle”, according to the PSG head coach.
Cavani is joined on the sidelines by Idrissa Gueye and Presnel Kimpembe, Ander Herrera, Julian Draxler and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who is missing for personal reasons.