The Argentine great has had his critics since moving to Parc des Princes, but a team-mate has jumped to his defence

Kylian Mbappe has backed Lionel Messi to silence his critics at Paris Saint-Germain as the duo continue to forge a goalscoring partnership, insisting that “even with seven Ballons dOr you have to adapt”.

Messi has failed to hit the ground running at the start of his PSG career, having moved to Parc des Princes on a free transfer following his surprise departure from Barcelona last summer.

A man who broke all kinds of scoring records during his 17-year stay at Camp Nou has only found the net seven times in 23 games for the Ligue 1 leaders to date, but did notch another two assists in a 3-1 win against Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

Messi set up both of Mbappes goals as PSG extended their lead at the top of the Ligue standings and now has 10 assists to his name for the club.

Mbappe defended the Argentine amid question marks over his form in front of goal post-match, telling reporters: “Hes a great player.Im happy for him because we know hes adjusting to a new life, a new city and a new club.And even when you win seven Ballons dOr, you have to adapt too.

“But he is getting better and better, he is happy and I always said it in the first part of the season, if we have a great Messi, its better.

“With him its easy.Ive always wanted to play with great players and great players are made to play with great players and we have a blast on the pitch.Personally, I really enjoy it.”

After scoring his latest brace, Mbappe moved up to 156 goals in PSG colours, drawing level with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the clubs all-time scorers list.

The 23-year-old is still some way behind Edinson Cavanis record of 200, but has suggested he would like to overtake the Uruguayan – despite reports linking him with a summer move to Real Madrid.

Mbappes current contract expires in June and PSG are struggling to tie him down to fresh terms, but he said when quizzed on the scoring record: “When you know what Zlatan did here, it’s symbolic. These are high standards, we’re in an exclusive circle. I’ve managed to equalise with him, and unless there are any issues I think I’ll overtake him.

“There’s still Edi remaining [ahead]. We’ll see how things go. But obviously being PSG’s all-time top scorer is nothing to be scoffed at, so we’ll see what happens.”

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