Wenger has already been vocal in his admiration for the 18-year-old French international, but had never before revealed details of his trip to the northeastern Parisian suburb of Bondy on December 20, 1998.
Mbappe’s performances this season have attracted interest from each of Europe’s top clubs, but Wenger has admitted that he came closest to signing the wunderkind mere moments after the beginning of his life.
“If you ask his family they will tell you that I was there in Bondy on that day in 1998. I tried to convince him – even then I could see his potential – but it did not happen because he could not speak or walk yet,” Wenger said, adding that Mbappe’s attachment to his mother at the time had a major impact on the deal.
“I was disappointed – yes – but I could understand because he was a few minutes old and his family wanted to raise him and spend time with him. Still, I do occasionally think what might have been.”
Wenger went on to say that, while he is disappointed that he missed out on Mbappe, he and his scouting team currently team currently have their eyes on some promising embryos.