Newcastle missed out on signing their own Paul Pogba in Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot over the summer.
According to reports from Italy, the Magpies were very keen on luring the France international to St James’ Park, and that a move for the former PSG starlet was not dependent on their proposed takeover going through.
The report added that fellow Premier League sides Manchester United and Everton were also interested in signing him, and that Rabiot himself was looking firmly at a switch to England.
In the end, Rabiot of course stayed put in Turin, and given what he could have potentially brought to the table on Tyneside, it does feel like a missed opportunity.
Standing at 6 foot 2, Rabiot is in a similar mould to fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba, in that despite his height, his main strengths are with the ball at his feet and his huge technical quality.
Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who has seen him up close for Juventus, hailed the ability that Rabiot possesses, claiming: “He is a fantastic mix, he has the physical strength of Pogba, who is like a wardrobe, has the personality of Vidal and potentially the dynamism of Marchisio.
“He is incredible, extremely strong. He needs to improve his timing when approaching the opponent’s penalty area but he can become a player with 10 goals per season. He’s also a good boy and a great team-mate.”
And if Newcastle fans watched his early rise to prominence closely, then they may have a wry smile at how he ousted former Magpies midfielder Yohan Cabaye at PSG. An article from PSGtalk reflected on how the veteran ace was so inconsistent at the Parc des Princes, that a young and inexperienced Rabiot moved ahead of him in the pecking order and took over his place – it was the ultimate symbol of how his career failed to take off in France.
But with his current wages at Juventus apparently around the £225k-per-week mark, it’s somewhat understandable the Magpies didn’t go all in for Rabiot despite his obvious talents.