Newcastle United notably strengthened key areas over the summer – bringing in the likes of Nick Pope, Sven Botman and Alexander Isak – to help strengthen the spine of the team, although one area that perhaps still needs addressing is in the centre of the park.
Journalist Craig Hope has suggested that despite the Magpies having signed Bruno Guimaraes in January earlier this year, a new midfield addition seemingly remains a “priority” for manager Eddie Howe, as the Englishman looks to guide his side towards Champions League qualification.
As the winter window approaches, the Tynesiders could well be best served reviving their interest in previous target, Adrien Rabiot, with the silky Frenchman having been in sparkling form since being linked with a move to St James’ Park in the summer.
That recent window saw the 27-year-old also come close to a move to Manchester United amid his ongoing contract uncertainty at the Allianz Stadium, with the former Paris Saint-Germain machine having just a matter of months left on his existing deal.
With an extension still yet to be reached despite the playmaker’s hot streak – having scored five goals and laid on two assists for the Serie A side this season – the northeast side could well capitalise on that fact and try and make a move in January, with the potential to secure a pre-contract agreement or seal a cut-price move.
Having been “having a good season in a bad Juve team” – in the words of journalist Samuel Luckhurst – the 6 foot 3 ace has carried that form onto the international stage, having made a fine start to life at the World Cup in Qatar to further showcase his quality to Howe and co.
Four years on from refusing to be named on the standby list for the tournament in Russia, the polarising asset somewhat completed his redemption after playing a vital role in Les Bleus’ victory over Australia in their opening group game, as Didier Deschamps’ men survived an early scare to run out comfortable 4-1 winners.
It was Rabiot who had dragged the holders back into the match after conceding early on, the £151k-per-week magician heading home in fine fashion to draw his side level, before teeing up Olivier Giroud to tap home soon after with a fine pullback, following a deft flick from the ever-impressive Kylian Mbappe.
As journalist Mark Jones stated, the towering midfielder was simply “everywhere” on the night, notably winning seven of his 12 duels and recording five tackles, while also illustrating his brilliance in possession after recording a 90% pass accuracy rate.
That impactful showing saw the former Manchester City youth product record a stunning match rating of 8.5, as per SofaScore, with that figure only bettered by teammate Antoine Griezmann for the European giants.
With injuries to the likes of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba having seen Rabiot take on a more prominent role in the side, it looks as if he is taking that chance with both hands, with Newcastle now needing to act quickly to beat what one would expect to be a lengthy list of suitors to secure his signature.