However, the current Arsenal assistant cautioned that comparisons to Thierry Henry were premature.
Mbappe, 18, is considered to be one of the top, young prospects in world football thanks in large part to his stellar form in Monaco’s run to the Champions League semifinals.
And Pires, who played with Henry on Arsene Wenger’s “Invincibles” teams in the early 2000s, believes that Arsenal is the best place for Mbappe to grow and flourish as a player.
“Mbappe has the potential to play for Arsenal and Wenger is the right manager to manage him,” Pires told Bwin. “Monaco and Arsenal are very similar clubs, so it won’t be much of a transition.
“I do think Arsenal will sign him. The problem is how much.”
But Pires does not believe it’s time to start talking about the teenager measuring up to his former Arsenal teammate Henry.
“The comparison is unnecessary, he’s not ready to be compared to Thierry. Mbappe is a very similar player but to compare the two players would be unfair.
“I hope that Kylian can follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, he has the same profile as Thierry — quick, strong and a great finisher — but he’s very young so I would hold off on comparisons just yet.”
Mbappe has scored 21 goals in all competitions for Monaco this season, including five in the Champions League, as the Ligue 1 leaders advanced past Borussia Dortmund in the last eight to set up a semifinal match with Juventus.
“Monaco have a very good chance to win the Champions League,” Pires said. “They are the best team in France and in Europe, because they have the best striker in Europe at the moment, Kylian Mbappe. Yes, we talk about Mbappe and [Radamel] Falcao but they also have Valere Germain and Thomas Lemar. They don’t have one or two players, they have a complete team.”
Price is a major sticking point for Mbappe, with valuations reaching nine figures according to some reports. And Wenger, who Pires believes will stay at the Emirates after this season, admitted recently that the 18-year-old may well be headed to a club with “more financial potential than us.”