After months of uncertainty over his future, prodigious Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot finally signed a new contract in the French capital at the start of November.
The 19-year-old is widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in French football but was being heavily linked with a switch overseas after a refusal to extend his deal at the Parc des Princes.
The dramatic u-turn of a new four-year deal with Laurent Blanc’s men will be a relief to the French champions, but Rabiot now must be trusted to play consistently in the starting XI.
First-team opportunities have been in relatively short supply for Rabiot, who has more-experienced campaigners such as Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti and Yohan Cabaye for competition in the team’s midfield.
However, PSG will be delighted to avoid a repeat of the loss of one of their most promising young players to a European rival, as happened in the summer.
Disillusioned with his lack of chances to play senior football, young attacker Kingsley Coman opted not to sign a new deal in the French capital and instead ended an eight-year affiliation with the Paris-based club ahead of this season.
Given that Blanc has the likes of Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimović in his current forward line, the departure of 18-year-old Coman may not have seemed like a hammer blow at the time, but PSG could regret his exit in the future.
The sprightly attacker has since been snapped up by Juventus, made his debut for the French under-21 side and is clearly making progress in the game.
Predominantly used as an impact substitute by the Turin giants, Coman’s bright start in Italy shows that he has the ability and potential to be an international player in the future – and PSG lost him on a free transfer after nurturing him in their youth ranks for eight years.
Given that the former Toulouse loanee only made 12 Ligue 1 starts last term, PSG are lucky to have kept the midfielder and must now reward their rising star for his renewal with consistent time on the pitch.
Rabiot is yet to make an appearance for Blanc’s men this term due to injury and uncertainty over his future, but the timing looks ideal for the star to have an impact in forthcoming weeks.
With both Verratti and Matuidi suffering ailments and likely to be unavailable for the trip to face Metz on Friday night, Rabiot looks set to reenter the fray at the Stade Saint-Symphorien.
If he gets back to his best and continues to show the form that has made him such a hot property in the European transfer market upon his return, Blanc must reward him with a prolonged run in the team.
For Rabiot, hard work is needed to get back to his best and also win over some of the club’s supporters who have been critical of his initial reluctance to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes.
Despite the plethora of international stars and household global names in the current Ligue 1 champions’ squad, Rabiot has the potential to be a key man and as such needs time on the pitch in order to progress.