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Why signing Adrien Rabiot will not solve Manchester United's problems

ANALYST
Feature
820   //    19 Oct 2018, 11:28 IST

Adrien Rabiot has refused to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain
Adrien Rabiot has refused to sign a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain

There has been a lot of talk going around Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot and his availability on the transfer window next summer as his contract is set to expire. He has put all major clubs in Europe on high alert after he refused to sign a new contract extension. After this development took place, clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona have all reportedly shown interest in the France international.

He has had a decent season for Paris Saint-Germain, playing in eight Ligue 1 games so far. Although manager Thomas Tuchel has had him sharing game time with Marquinhos, Marco Veratti and Julian Draxler, Rabiot is pretty efficient.

Paul Scholes went on record this week, saying that Manchester United are going through a crisis and that all of it is self-induced. Scholes, a United legend, in an interview given to ESPN, said that the club has been under the cloud of a dark and deep shadow and players need to be given a free hand to express themselves on the field.

What Scholes said next was even more disturbing. He said "It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles. I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he'd struggle in this team. I think (Mourinho) still is (a great manager), but you wonder why his side keeps getting outplayed."

Scholes' argument holds ground but needs to be understood from a far deeper perspective, too. But the question here is if Manchester United go for Adrien Rabiot, will he add any value to the side?

Rabiot's style is suited to the high-pace game, giving enough to the flanks and keeping them in the game for long periods of time. He is a very good distributor of the ball and likes to keep possession too. However, he is not suited heavily to the high-pressing game that some modern managers demand from their players.

He is only 23 so that means that he has a lot of time to improve and become a better version of himself defensively. There is no doubt, nevertheless, of him being one of the best young central midfielders going around.

However tempting signing Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer may look to Manchester United, it will be better if the club stays away from making it. For starters, Rabiot will only add to the tonnes of central midfielders the club already has in its ranks, competing with Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Fred, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira for game time.

This means that signing Rabiot will only add another high-profile name to the United bench. What's more, his presence may even create unrest or disruptions in United's routine.

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Rabiot's ability to adapt to the Premier League and his capability to start competing in such a high-pressing fast game can be debatable. He is definitely not better than Pogba in the attacking midfield department and does not have as much experience as Matic and Fellaini in the holding department. 

At best, he will be looking to play with Herrera and Fred but Mourinho is not known to play a four-man central midfield and his preference for playing two holding midfielders means that Rabiot will have to wait for a long time to get a start.

United have a problem of plenty in the central midfield department and signing Adrien Rabiot will not solve the crisis that the club is going through. If anything, first they should be looking to sign full-backs, centre backs and wingers in the January transfer window and then build towards the summer.

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ANALYST
A cricketer by profession and writer by passion, Mohul writes about cricket, football and tennis.
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