Kylian Mbappe has described Ousmane Dembele as the best young player in world football following his standout performance for France against Italy.
The attacking duo impressed alongside Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann in the 3-1 friendly victory over Roberto Mancini’s side in Nice.
Dembele scored France’s third goal, curling a fine finish past goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu from the edge of the penalty area, having earlier hit the crossbar at the end of an impressive run.
Mbappe is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest youngsters but the teenager thinks Dembele is the most promising in the game.
“It’s a promising partnership. We get on well, we appreciate each other,” the Paris Saint-Germain forward said following the win.
“I’ve always wanted to play with great players. I have two top players [next to me]: Antoine, top 10; Ousmane, the best young player in the world, for me.
“We all try to help each other.”
Dembele endured a difficult debut season with Barcelona following his €105million move from Borussia Dortmund last August – a club record at the time for the Catalans.
The 21-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in September that kept him sidelined until January, after which he struggled to hold down a regular place in Ernesto Valverde’s first team.
With Barca linked with a €100m bid for Griezmann, there have been suggestions they could allow Dembele to leave on loan, with Premier League pair Arsenal and Liverpool both said to be interested.