Hardly a couple of weeks have passed since the summer transfer window slammed shut with the world-record transfer of Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to Chelsea hailed as the pick of the signings. Surprisingly, the footballing world is abuzz with concrete news reports linking the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona and Juventus with a possible move for a PSG-based player. However, what makes it all the more interesting is the fact that these reports do not involve high-profile players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verrati for once. The player being referred to is none other than French midfielder Adrien Rabiot who only has a year left on his existing club contract.
Such reports do seem puzzling considering the fact that the lad failed to even make the cut into the 23-man French squad which went on to win the world cup under manager Didier Deschamps. Rabiot had to bear the ignominy of being declared fit only for a spot in the reserve list with Roma midfielder Steven N’Zonzi preferred ahead of him. French manager Didier Deschamps betrayed no signs of regret when quizzed about the decision to oust Rabiot from the French squad stating: “Adrien’s performances with France are not at all of the same level as expected from him”.
At the same time, it hardly seems fair to judge the French midfielder simply on the basis of his shortcomings in international football, with Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi deemed guilty of the same. Not every player can be expected to deliver heroic performances at club level as well as on the international stage with legendary footballers Diego Maradona and Pele credited for the same. While Lionel Messi has been an integral figure for footballing giants FC Barcelona over the years, Rabiot is steadily developing into one himself with current club Paris St Germain desperate to tie him down to a long-term contract.
The 23-year-old enjoys immense experience and has been hailed as a potential top-class midfielder on the back of his consistent performances in the heart of midfield for the French giants. Rabiot is extremely versatile in nature, enjoys a high passing accuracy and is more than capable of emerging as a midfield dynamo for the best outfits in the business.
The addition of a midfielder like Rabiot promises to be a one-stop solution for any woes plaguing the midfield department with his maturity beyond the ears more than capable of plugging any existing holes. The lanky midfielder can operate effectively in a 4-2-3-1 formation or even a 4-3-3, dictating the flow of the game with his defence-splitting passes and quality vision. At the same time, he is no novice when entrusted the responsibility of winning the ball from the opposition, with his defensive interventions and timely interceptions winning many a game for his side.
Ex-PSG teammate Javier Pastore was amongst the first to defend Rabiot following his exclusion from the French squad having witnessed his brilliance from close quarters. ”It is a massive shame that I will not be able to watch you at the World Cup,” said the Argentinian midfielder. “You deserved to be on the list. Keep going like this — you will always be rewarded. You are a top player!”
The 23-year-old is certainly one of the finest talents currently out there who can go on to scale new heights in the coming years. At the same time, there is a lot of scope for improvement which was certainly evident in the youngster’s lackadaisical performance against Real Madrid in the 3-1 defeat at Bernabeu last season. While a move to footballing giants like Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid may seem lucrative on paper, it is necessary for Rabiot to take an informed decision which suits his long-term interests.
The PSG midfielder has the ability to make a mark consistently on the club level as well as the international stage in the coming years as evident from the massive potential he enjoys. At the same time, it is necessary for him to maintain a healthy attitude towards the game and ensure regular hours on the training ground to realise his full potential.
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