by Tom Lees - 17th March 2016
Young French midfielder Adrien Rabiot has often been mentioned in the transfer gossip columns over the last three seasons, and is now on the cusp of going from promising young talent to one of the stars of the game. With ongoing links to the likes of Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Tottenham continuing, Rabiot has been picking up regular match exposure with French champions Paris Saint-Germain, both at home and in Europe, and has gone from strength to strength to the point that he can now be considered a vital part of the Parisians team.
This has not always been the case for the youngster, throughout his time in Paris it seemed inevitable that he was to move overseas. Question marks have been raised over his attitude and feeling of entitlement to playing time, and this hasn’t been helped with his agent (who is also the players Mother) often making the youngsters demands public knowledge. The most recent of these was December 2015 with the player rumoured to be demanding a loan move at the very least, unless he was given more game time by Laurent Blanc. No move came about and the midfielder has indeed featured more prominently in the PSG team since the turn of the year. It is perhaps the only real slight on the player thus far in his career, but he is still very young and with experience should gain in maturity.
Born in Saint-Maurice, Rabiot began his youth career at US Créteil-Lusitanos, then spent several years at a variety of youth academies (including a year at Manchester City), before joining up with Paris Saint-Germain in 2010. At the training centre for PSG, Camp des Loges, Rabiot shone brightly and was earmarked as an exciting prospect for the future, signing professional terms in 2012. The midfielder quickly earnt his debut for PSG in the 2012/13 season and featured in a handful of games before spending the second half of the season on loan to fellow Ligue 1 side Toulouse. Rabiot gained valuable experience at Les Pitchouns, returning to Paris in that summer a better player. Since then Rabiot has featured more and more regularly in the PSG first team, with over 60 league appearances to his name already in a team full of superstars. Internationally the youngster has also been gaining great exposure to football, representing his nation at every youth level and is now a major star for the Under 21 setup.
A tall cultured midfield talent, Rabiot plays with a casual, classy style, moving play with his left foot with seemingly endless time on the ball such is his comfort in possession. Strong in the tackle, good in the air and the ability to both pick a pass to a team mate or dribble past an opponent, he has the attributes to become a World class midfielder. Often seen operating at the base of midfield, Rabiot can dictate play well ahead of him and has the natural instinct to appear in the attacking areas when necessary where in recent times he has shown a clinical edge in front of goal. As a youngster still learning and honing his vast skills, Rabiot can on occasion lose his position a little while defending which comes down to his focus which could still use some work and will improve game by game. It is clear why the youngster is one of the most sought after talents in football, PSG will be keen to hold onto their young asset for many years and if he can continue as 2016 has started Rabiot could go on to help the club achieve great things.
As PSG wrapped up the Ligue 1 title this past weekend, a game where Rabiot scored, in the same week that they eliminated English champions Chelsea from the Champions League, again with Rabiot on the scoresheet, the midfielder will now be looking towards a national team call up. 2016 is a huge year for France as they host the European Championship tournament, and although Rabiot is yet to be capped at senior level he’ll be desperate that his performances at club level in 2016 will earn him a place in the tournament squad. Domestically Rabiot has recently declared his loyalty to his club due to his increased playing time, and has gone on record as wanting to become a club legend for the Paris outfit. Though again despite this the transfer rumours continue to spread with many sides hoping to utilise his ability. It’s hard to say where the long term future lays for Rabiot, wherever it is though he looks set to become a big star and one of the prominent midfielders in European football.