Why Arsenal should sign Adrien Rabiot as an Alternative to Granit Xhaka
By Daniel Finton
Adrien Rabiot: The Perfectly, prickly personality our midfield needs
Since Mikel Arteta has taken charge of Arsenal, many of the players who’d come under an abundance of scrutiny under the previous head coach, Unai Emery, have seemingly rediscovered their footing and moreover, better form again. One of the main individuals that this pertains to and one that will most likely spring to mind is that of Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international seemed halfway out the door prior to Arteta’s arrival, with Hertha Berlin said to be keen on acquiring his services. However, the new man in charge is said to really admire Xhaka’s capabilities and talks of a move away for the controversial midfielder have cooled drastically. Xhaka now looks set to stay at the club and there is even talk of him being the one to take on the responsibility of the captaincy now that Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is suspended for the next three matches. For me, that is a good thing.
Notwithstanding, I do believe we need further reinforcements in the midfield department. Luckily, one being linked with us, Adrien Rabiot, is said to be keen on a move away from Juventus and he would be a phenomenal addition to our now, spiky midfield.
The Frenchman is seen as a bit of a prick and that is just what this midfield could use. Our current pivot of Xhaka and Lucas Torreira has shown signs of balance and cohesion, but with the addition of an equally imposing figure to that of Xhaka and one with the tenacity of Torreira would come great improvements to the middle of the park. Rabiot is notoriously a difficult personality to deal with, but his talents outweigh his often sour attitude and possible disruptions to the dressing room.
The 6’4 Frenchman would seamlessly fit into the Premier league, given his imposing figure along with his aggressive personality and playing style. Furthermore, his experience in playing with teams that prefer to retain possession rather than gift it to their opposition and play on the counter attack, makes him a more sensible coup than that of another name that’s been mentioned for the role, Thomas Partey (albeit they are fit slightly different profiles).
Juventus acquired the services of the former PSG midfielder for free, given that the 24-year-old saw his contract with the French champions expire. Game time has been limited for the Frenchman with his new club under Maurizio Sarri, having only regsitered 11 appearances this campaign.
If Arteta wanted to, it probably would not be all that difficult to lure the Frenchman from Turin to London. Rabiot has an undeniably potent deal of inner self belief and like most professional footballers, he grows very unhappy when he is not given minutes that he believes he deserves. The French workhorse notably went as far as completely throwing his toys out of the pram when he discovered his name was not included in the squad for the 2018 World Cup. Rather than accepting his role as a part of the “on call list”, just in case any injuries occurred, he controversially pulled out of the side altogether.
So, if Rabiot was to sign he would obviously demand first team football but I for one, don’t think that would be much of an issue. As somebody who’s watched a great deal of Rabiot, I can confidently say his physicality and tidiness on the ball would be a major asset for the side going into the future, especially given the direction that Arteta seemingly wants his side to move in.
Rabiot definitely has his baggage that would follow him to the Emirates if he was to sign, but I’m sure given some of the personalities and egos Arteta had to help deal with at Manchester City, it would not be too great an obstacle to overcome.
Rabiot infamously stated that Tottneham Hotspur was “below his level” when teams were circling whilst his contract at PSG was winding down. Given the fact that is genuinely the case, Arsenal would surely be a great place for him to provide his shithousing services.