Ethan Golding scouts Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot amid rumours of a move to Anfield.
Adrien Rabiot is an all-action midfielder in the mould of the recently arrived Naby Keïta as well as former Liverpool target Leon Goretzka. He stands at around 6 foot 2 and while he has the ability to drive at defences, the Frenchman predominantly acts an orthodox box to box or defensive midfielder.
He has occasionally been represented as a possible figure of drama within the dressing room yet the signings of Sadio Mané, Xherdan Shaqiri and Andrew Robertson (to name a few), have taught me not to doubt Jürgen Klopp’s eye for a player or his ability to get the best out of them.
Liverpool’s current squad is widely touted as the strongest of the Premier League Era but it is still not as deep as it could be. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the vast majority of this season and Adam Lallana’s prominence within the squad has dwindled as a result of his long-term injury problems of last season.
The evergreen James Milner will eventually show signs of slowing down (probably) and the signing of Adrien Rabiot would provide extra quality throughout the midfield ranks.
Rotation is already such an integral part of Klopp’s system and while it may seem like the addition of Rabiot may see our midfield flooded, it’s important to remember how much hard work our midfield puts into how we play.
Adam Lallana is not the player he seemed to be becoming over the course of 15-20 games two seasons ago and there is no guarantee Oxlade-Chamberlain will return from injury the player he was beforehand.
The addition of Rabiot or somebody, with his ability to break forward while offering a lot of defensive stability, would actually make a lot of sense given the current crop of players available to Klopp in midfield.
The quality of a Rabiot or a Ruben Neves would mean in games that we are looking to shut down, we would no longer be introducing another CB and changing system for ten minutes, or asking Adam Lallana to shore up the midfield.
Instead, if Lallana was brought on to close a game off, he would be given the freedom to keep possession in the attacking 3rd with a midfield two of Fabinho, Henderson or Rabiot/Neves providing an incredibly stable and athletic base.
In the current climate, any French player who is involved in the national squad can be looked at as a solid and low-risk investment regardless of price.
However, reports are circulating that Rabiot has declined a contract extension at PSG and Liverpool will look to sign the 23-year-old on a pre-contract in January.
So while as personal preference I would rather see Ruben Neves come through the door, the prospect of Rabiot coming in at a cut-price and freeing up funds to pursue another potentially world class player in the form of Christian Pulisic or a top quality partner for Virgil Van Dijk such as Kalidou Koulibaly, represents potentially incredible business.
Even if an increased signing on fee is needed, with Transfermarkt pricing Rabiot at €50mil, it would still be a potential bargain for the Reds.