The french deep-lying playmaker, Adrien Rabiot, is available on a free transfer after running down his contract at PSG. This recently concluded season was a nightmare for him as PSG froze him from the first team ranks and demoted him to the reserves because of issues over contract renewals and perceived indiscipline.
With his contract and stay in Paris all but over, he has to decide where to start afresh. Manchester United transfer rumours in major publications for a while have been going with the news that he is wanted by the English club, more so now that he is available on a free. The question is, will he cut it at Man Utd or will it just be another “Di Maria” situation?
Adrien Rabiot (PSG Career)
Goals & Assists – 23 goals in 263 matches shows that while he has not been a prolific scorer, he still chips in with the odd goal or two. His highest goal return was in the ’15/16 season when he scored 7 goals. While the numbers he posted in the ’17/18 season were more impressive. 4 goals and 7 assists, his highest return since joining PSG.
United’s midfield has been crying for a creative yet combative player for years now. Pogba was brought in for a record sum but he has flattered to deceive and he still divides opinions. Herrera (no more a United Player) was a fan favourite but Adrien is an upgrade on the Spaniard in terms of ball use and intelligent runs forward.
Rabiot could even be considered a like for like replacement for Matic due to their similar frame and left leg dependence. He (Rabiot) will bring more mobility to the middle of the park. With his vision, he could set off counter attacks from the base of the midfield. He is also a threat at set pieces with his 6’2 frame.
Passing & Ball Recovery – Rabiot usually averages 89-94% completed passes per match. He is an accomplished passer of the ball and his ball recovery rate is pretty high. He isn’t afraid to get stuck in or win the ball with strength.
One of the accusations levied against Man Utd last season was the inability to keep the ball and break teams down with precise passing. Adrien Rabiot can bring incision in passes, forward-thinking and breakaways with his vision, intelligent ball use and exciting dribbling skills.
Temperament – Many will say (PSG mostly) that he is not suited to the top leagues because of his hotheadedness. He even refused to be on the standby list for France. But this could also mean he’s self-assured and this translates onto the pitch too. He is calm and collected on the pitch and off it. He just has that ego top talents are born with.
From Ronaldo to Cantona, United have always had huge personalities in their squad and Adrien Rabiot could be a good addition to the squad. He believes in himself in an ‘Ibrahimovic’ kind of way which can spread to the younger players in the squad.
Contract – Without a transfer fee to consider, United can pay him north of £130,000 per week without breaking the bank. He costs nothing, only wages. It is a good deal for a young talent that still has resale value.
The contract will not break the wage structure at United plus it will fit in with the new transfer policy of buying young quality talents.
While every transfer is a risk, there are some risks worth taking. In a market that is increasingly hard to navigate, gift horses like a free Adrien Rabiot are hard to find.
He might turn out to be a “Depay” or worse, “Sanchez” but there is also the accepted opinion that the team he joins will be getting a 50-60m player free especially with the current transfer market tendencies.
If trending Manchester United transfer rumours are to be believed, then he is a key part of the overhauling/recruitment drive currently taking place at Old Trafford. Will he be a masterstroke or a major fail at United if he signs?
Only time will tell.