No matter how composed or pennywise one imagines themselves to be, there is always that one vice; one object or pursuit we can't seem to avoid. For some people its video games, or travel, for others its art, for me, its sneakers, particularly Onitsuka Tigers. No matter how many pairs I have, most of which go unworn for long stretches, if my browser finds its way to Zappos, I'm as good as gone.
By this point, I think we all know what Walter Sabatini's vice is. No, not cigarettes. I said vice, not addiction. No, my friends, if there's one thing Sabatini can't avoid purchasing, its young midfielders. The latest shiny object to catch his eye is 19-year-old French midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
L'Equipe awoke us with the news that Roma and PSG have agreed to terms for the young midfielder, believed to be in the neighborhood of €15m. Before you get yourself in a tizzy, Rabiot himself has yet to sign off on the deal, which is noteworthy since he only has one year remaining on his current deal. So it is essential, particularly at that cost, that Sabatini sells him on the merits of a move to Roma.
Rabiot has yet to feature for PSG this season, but last year as an 18-year-old he made 24 league appearances for the Parisians, scoring two goals and completing 90% of his passes along the way. Ostensibly a defensive midfielder, Rabiot stands nearly 6'2" (1.88m) and is known for being strong in the air and solid in tackles, while possessing a keen passing eye and some pretty adept feet, especially for a man his size.
Two things I take away from this signing. One, on the surface it doesn't make a ton of sense given Roma's glut of young and/or in their prime midfielders, but it does suggest that perhaps Kevin Strootman's recovery isn't going as well, or at least as quickly, as they'd imagined.
Secondly, Roma's other reported late summer target, Matteo Darmian, though a more practical addition in the tactical sense, has been a tougher nut to crack, as Torino seems hell bent retaining their last remaining star.
More news as it breaks, but this would be a fantastic signing for the future. I might have to re-rank those prospects sooner than I thought.
If you take a look back at our prospect countdown, apart from Alessio Romagnoli and Tin Jedvaj, its mostly attacking players, so adding a defensive midfielder like Rabiot into the fold would be a shrewd move. Second, this seems like something Sabatini, I don't want to say stumbled into, but this smacks of a "deal too good to pass up", so regardless of his immediate fit, perhaps Walt was simply striking while the iron was hot.