Let’s begin, shall we? The pony tailed youngster is a tall, left-footed player, who combines his physical qualities with good technique. A composed passer with good link up play, who has fairly good feet in close space, is more than capable of shielding the ball, and is decent in the tackle.
The 25-year-old Saint-Maurice native has a very interesting story, having had a number of controversies for a man of his young age. The fact that his own mother is not only his agent, but also seems quite the character herself, is one of the more laughable portions. A number of contract stand-offs, agreeing a move to Roma, and being linked with Barcelona…yet, here we are with him at Juve.
In 2007, at 12, his father had a stroke, rendering him paralysed except for his eyelids. In 2008, he shipped out for Manchester City’s youth side. In 2010, at 15, he joined PSG. In 2012 he went on loan to Toulouse for the first half of the season before returning to PSG. He featured 13 times for Toulouse.
By the end of the 2013/14 season, he had gradually eased himself into the starting eleven despite facing competition from Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, and Marco Veratti. In February 2017, during PSG’s 4-0 first leg win over Barcelona in the Champions League Last 16, he received a 9/10 performance from L’Equipe. A rarity to receive such a high rating from them. He even managed to tackle and nutmeg Messi in one movement.
Quite the decade, no? By the age of 23, Rabiot had earned nearly 250 senior club appearances, had 13 trophies, but couldn’t buy himself a minute on the pitch. Was it because he refused a standby slot on the World Cup list after being disappointed at being left out of Deschamps’ squad? Was it his refusal to sign a new contract at PSG and contract negotiations subsequently breaking down? Is he overly ambitious, or truly a bad seed? I’d like to think it’s the former.
He looks a player who thrives on consistency, and with only 8 of his 24 appearances for us lasting a full 90 minutes, it seems that consistency is hard to come by. That’s before we even mention his current need to adapt to a new country, language, playing style, squad, coach, and Juve’s general reticence to give regular chances to young, or even new players immediately. That’s a lot of moving parts.
Considering his last competitive minutes with PSG were December 11th, 2018, and his debut with Juve was August 24th, 2019, I am willing to forgive a little rust needing to be shaken off in regard to match sharpness. Still, he maintains a 91% pass accuracy, 1.7 tackles/game, 1.3 dribbles/game, and an average match rating of roughly 7/10 per game. Continue reading…