2019-02-03 by W.M.
Thomas Tuchel Dismisses Adrien Rabiot PSG Return Rumours | Bleacher Report
Xavier Laine/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain manager Thomas Tuchel has dismissed speculation suggesting he wants to reintegrate out-of-favour midfielder Adrien Rabiot back into the first-team squad.
The France international has not played for the French giants since their UEFA Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade on December 11, as he’s opted against signing a new contract with the club. With his deal poised to expire in the summer, it appears inevitable he will move on at the end of the season.
As such, PSG have decided against having him as part of the senior setup and contrary to some recent reports, Tuchel said he’s happy for that to remain the case, per Dom Farrell of Goal.
“I did not ask for Rabiot’s reinstatement,” said the PSG boss. “The situation is the same as in November. The club decided to suspend Adrien. I can understand the club and I accept this decision. The situation has not changed.”
Even if Rabiot, who has been long linked with Barcelona, was available and all of their players were fully fit, PSG would be short of midfield options. However, with the Frenchman marginalised and Marco Verratti injured, the team have struggled for appropriate personnel in this facet of the XI recently.
While the club moved to sign Leandro Paredes form Zenit Saint Petersburg in the January window, they’ve been forced to use the likes of Dani Alves, Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria as makeshift midfielders for recent Ligue 1 games.
Per Phil McNulty of BBC Sport, it appeared PSG were keen to add further reinforcements to their midfield, although they had a £26.2 million bid rejected by Everton for Idrissa Gueye. Speaking about the transfer window as a whole, Tuchel said he was underwhelmed with the business done:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
Tuchel on PSG’s January business: “If you are asking if I am happy with Leandro Paredes — yes, I am absolutely happy with his arrival. However, if you are asking if I am satisfied overall — no, but we must accept it.” #OLPSG
Given Rabiot didn’t leave the club in January and remains on the PSG payroll until the summer, there may be a temptation to get him back in the XI, especially with Verratti injured.
The exiled Frenchman can make an impression when he is on the field after all. Rabiot adds a physical presence, an ability to make vertical surges and when the situation demands he is capable of calming a game down too.
These numbers sum up the kind of all-round impact Rabiot can have when he is at this best:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Adrien Rabiot has attempted more passes per game (74.8) and made more tackles per game (2.5) than any other PSG midfielder in Ligue 1 this season.
Given his agent, it would definitely be the wildcard option. 👀 https://t.co/H0jNoYu9pn
According to Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC, Tuchel has made it clear to the PSG hierarchy that he wants to be able to call upon Rabiot again; Johnson thinks we may see the 23 year old in a PSG jersey again soon too:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
@redemtor1990 No, I do not think Rabiot will return for such a big match. If he does, which I think is a growing possibility, it will be in a smaller game away from home — next week would be ideal. It makes no sense to speak publicly about such a divisive idea before a big fixture.
It must be frustrating for the manager not to be able to call upon a fine midfielder, regardless of what seems like an inevitable summer departure.
While he is on the club’s payroll there will be a temptation to use Rabiot. PSG have enough quality to get by with disjointed midfields in Ligue 1, but if they are to make Champions League progress you sense they will need more than makeshift options manning central areas.