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Arsenal turn to PSG youngster in search of midfield anchorage

| 09.08.2014

Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho have both been strongly suggested as Arsenal holding-midfield targets this summer, but the red tops now claim Paris St-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot is close to an Emirates switch.

Arsene Wenger’s side look sound bets at 13/2 for a first title in over a decade after acquiring quantity and quality, with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez the pick of four signings bought for a total spend of over £60m.

However, they’re clearly a bit light in deep midfield with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini both past 30, and Abou Diaby not one to rely upon due to his tragic injury record.

At just 19-years-old Rabiot is already a veteran of 44 Ligue 1 games, with PSG and on loan at Toulouse during the 2012/13 season.

The native Parisian isn’t much of a goalscorer, notching just four times in 55 all-competition games over two senior seasons so far, although half of those came in Ligue 1 last term for Les Rouge et Bleu.

Rabiot’s value lies as a midfield spoiler, with two defensive actions carried out per game on average over 25 league appearances for his hometown club in 2013/14.

That’s half as many as both Arteta and Flamini managed in the Premier League over the same period, but considering PSG walked the French top flight – conceding the joint-fewest goals of any side in Europe’s top divisions – we can reasonably assume that there’s more to come from Rabiot.

Having stated last term that he wouldn’t “want to live the way Mamadou Sakho did” – with reference to the centre-half who left Paris for Liverpool and his struggle for game time in France’s capital – Rabiot reportedly turned down a new deal at the end of the last campaign, and is looking to leave.

The Mirror believes an £8m bid could be enough to land him, although with the same paper suggesting that Manchester United and Chelsea are interested, the quote feels a tad small.

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Alex Fortune