Manchester United, Tottenham, Juventus and Barcelona have all previously been linked with a move for Adrien Rabiot but despite the player being available in just over a month’s time on a free transfer, he is yet to find a new club.
Considering the amounts of money high-quality midfielders are going for, shouldn’t signing the 24-year-old be a no-brainer for manager Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer?
Rabiot’s conduct, and that of his agent and mother, does ring a few alarm bells in terms of attitude and discipline. He hasn’t played a single minute of professional football since December for a reason.
The last year or so has been an unmitigated disaster for the midfielder. After being named on the standby list for the World Cup last summer, Rabiot snubbed the chance and was essentially exiled by manager Didier Deschamps.
At club level, moving into the last 12 months of his contract, he opted against signing a new deal with PSG, following a bid from Barcelona, and was essentially frozen out from his club.
His relationship with the team plunged to new depths after the club’s defeat to United in the Champions League, being suspended after seemingly celebrating his own team’s exit from the competition.
With all that being said then, the question has to be asked whether Rabiot is worth all the trouble. For sure, United need to replace Ander Herrera but the Frenchman would not be a like-for-like replacement.
The Basque star was a terrier in midfield, who could cover ground, make tackles and chip in with a few goals here and there. Rabiot, on the other hand, is unlikely to give you that level of work rate.
He is very good on the ball and has the fitness and energy to play as a box to box midfielder, but he isn’t somebody who fights for every ball and gets stuck in.
Of course, United need better quality passers in midfield, and Rabiot could provide that, but with concerns over his attitude, is he worth the risk despite being available on a free transfer?
In my mind, probably not. United have enough egos in the squad already, without having another player who could disrupt the atmosphere in the dressing room.
Solskjaer is looking to sign hungry, young players who are keen to listen, learn and work hard. From Rabiot’s past record, it’s questionable he would fit into that category despite his availability and undoubted talent.