France team: “Rabiot has an above average tactical intelligence”

Sparkling during the success of the Blues in Portugal (1-0), Adrien Rabiot delivered the most consistent of his ten selections in a France team with which he has long maintained paradoxical relations. In a role of false left winger, he participated in the most convincing exit of the world champions since their coronation in Russia. Not to surprise Grégory Paisley who observes the Frenchman at the microphone of BeIN Sports for which he is consultant of the Italian championship. The former PSG defender, 43, is convinced that the Juventus Turin player can settle in the selection for the long term.

You who follow the Italian championship in particular, were you surprised by Adrien Rabiot against Portugal?

GRÉGORY PAISLEY. No. Adrien Rabiot, I love him (sic) since he was 17 when I went to see him play at the Camp des Loges with the young people of PSG. We could already see that he had all the qualities required to break through at the highest level. He is a bit like the prototype of the modern midfielder by his technique, his power and his speed. He has an above average tactical intelligence. He had the chance to rub shoulders with great players very early on, especially Thiago Motta in Paris. With what he learned in Italy, where this tactical culture is taken to its climax, all the lights are green for him. What he lacked when arriving at Juventus Turin was his physique because he was not ready after six months without playing for PSG. There, everything is there for it to have fun.

In the past, he was able to steer because of the positioning he was offered on the field. There he played left midfielder in a 4-4-2. Is this a sign of real change?

Adrien Rabiot is now 25 years old. If he had been that age in Paris, I don’t think he would have made the speech he had at the time. He has matured, he understands more what is going on around him and the fact that claiming anything in a club is not the best way to act. At Juventus, he is in an institution that is difficult to go against. Paris has certainly mismanaged its case. He seems to have had the intelligence to see that his bad choices have served him very well. Many thought he was doomed for the France team.

Can he settle there permanently?

Obviously. I don’t see who could dislodge him. He has a considerable advantage which is to be very complementary left-handed with Pogba and Kanté. He has an impressive volume of play, he is able to break lines with his speed. It is an ideal profile. Especially since he is able to play in all systems and at all positions, even sentry whether he likes it or not.

Where does he still have to progress?

He is not yet giving his full potential to Juventus. I have already seen him make more successful matches with Paris. It is true that at the start of the season, the Juve team is in difficulty, so it’s difficult to flourish there. But even there, he stands out as soon as he takes the ball, especially because he has become a monster physically. But he must do more. In terms of statistics too. He must show more character and personality and take more responsibility. He is capable of registering between five and ten goals per season and as many assists. He will then be one of the best midfielders in Europe.

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