Paris Saint-Germain’s winning run in Ligue 1 was brought to a halt by high-flying Angers on Tuesday night in a heartfelt display by the home side. In the David vs Goliath bout, the underdog certainly took some knocks when we hit their woodwork a couple of times but they more than held his own and with it earned a huge amount of respect from all across Europe, let alone France. Match reports for 0-0 draws though are not exactly appealing are they? So, instead let’s look at someone who has matured into an integral part of this Parisian squad this season, Adrien Rabiot.
I have to be honest, it seemed for a while as if that aforementioned sentence would not apply to Rabiot in a PSG shirt. For the past two seasons, it looked as if his destiny lied elsewhere. The petulant attitude; his mother speaking to the press about his contract and potential links, not to mention the cardinal sin of missing the team bus for a cup final last season in which he was ridiculed. It all seemed to indicate that he was heading out the door. But just look at him now!
The 20-year-old has matured bucket loads this campaign and fully made the most of the opportunities presented to him. The Frenchman has gone about his business quietly, kept his feet on the ground and thus became an important member of the squad.
Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore’s recent absence has allowed him to be a first-team regular in the past few weeks. He played his fair share before that but it was the performance where he replaced Verratti in the 17th minute at the Santiago Bernabeu that caught the eye. There is no denying, he was one of the best players on the pitch that night where the French champions dominated the 10-time winners of the European Cup. Had his shot been a few inches to right of Keylor Navas’ post, Les Parisiens could have potentially been celebrating a famous result.
Coach Laurent Blanc gave his player a glowing appraisal following that game by saying; “Adrien played a good match, but I’m not surprised. I’ve often said it, but he has huge potential. Against Real, he lifted his game to match the players already out on the pitch. He has the qualities to do that. Still, at Paris Saint-Germain, there are some very good midfielders. In any case, I hope that he can maintain that same frame of mind for the matches to come”.
He netted his first goal of the season just last week in Malmo, which set the ball rolling for a 0-5 thumping of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s former club. He excelled on that night too.
Yesterday the UNFP announced that Rabiot was nominated for Ligue 1 Player of the Month for November along with his PSG buddy Ibra, Andy Delort of Caen, Lorient’s Benjamin Moukandjo and Marseille’s Georges-Kevin Nkoudou. If he is indeed to be the recipient of that award, it will be more than justifiable.