By 90Min
July 28, 2019

There was a profound sense of frustration and grief in Turin when the reigning top dogs of Italy were unceremoniously dumped out of last season's Champions League by Ajax.

As the dust settled on their exit and the inquest began, it became clear that despite their impressive recruitment the previous summer, the Old Lady still had some way to go to claim their seat at the head of Europe's top table. 

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More fire power was needed as the club has looked to equip new boss, Maurizio Sarri, with the tools required to clinch their most sought after prize. In the midst of their busy, and as yet, unfinished transfer dealings, the Turin giants won the protracted transfer race for the services of Adrien Rabiot. 

Having been linked with a host of Europe's biggest clubs; the free agent had sparked a feeding frenzy for his signature this summer, after refusing new terms at Paris Saint-Germain. For Juventus to have signed one of Europe's most coveted players is one thing, to nab him on a fee transfer is bordering on showing off to be honest.

It was painfully clear in that aforementioned defeat to Ajax, that Juventus were lacking in ideas and creativity from midfield, to help break down a stubborn defensive unit. 

While the likes of Emre Can, Blaise Matuidi and Rodrigo Bentancur are all solid players in their roles, they are unlikely to break free and drift between the lines from their natural position, preferring instead to safely recycle the ball. On the night, Juventus needed someone who could forge that extra bit of space and movement, to open up their opponents deep sitting lines. 

In such circumstances, you need mobility and that extra sprinkle of flair; tools that Rabiot most certainly possesses.

While his preferred position is on the left, the France international is capable of playing in a variety of midfield positions and formations. He is a real bundle of energy and work rate, nipping in between players, linking the play beautifully and distributing the ball with expert precision to the forward line, albeit from a deeper role on the pitch. 

In his final full season as regular at PSG, he enjoyed an impressive 92% pass completion rate. While he has never been a prolific goalscorer, his presence and mobility in midfield increases the likelihood of players being drawn out of their natural positions to try and close him down. 

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His versatility is another massive plus for La Vecchia Signora. While there is a lot of competition  for midfield spaces, Rabiot will more than capable of finding a role for himself in Sarri's 4-1-4-1 formation. His work rate and distribution from deep could see him play a similar role to the one Jorginho adopted for Chelsea last season. 

If Juventus are to genuinely challenge for the Champions League this season, they will need a full squad of quality players able to come in and perform at key moments throughout a bust campaign. 

Rabiot has added undeniable quality and experience to the depth and options available to the new manager as he looks to challenge on all fronts this season. 

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There have been some grumbles about his attitude off the pitch and his public falling out with Thomas Tuchel last season only exacerbated the bad blood between player and the club. The Frenchman was not selected at all for PSG from December onwards, as he instead opted to run his contract down. 

However, a fresh start at an ambitious club could be the clean break that the player needed to regroup this summer. 

Juventus are bidding for a mind-boggling ninth straight league title this year and Rabiot's presence in the ranks will only serve to highlight how could Juve are - and just how strong their squad is in comparison to the rest of the league.

Aged just 24, Rabiot also has potentially huge sell-on value, particularly if he makes his time in Italy a success. He won't be short of interested in parties, though, as evidenced by this summer's pursuit.

Both parties will hope that he can make the difference this season, adding to the long list of successful free transfers that Juventus have acquired over the years. If he does, European glory could finally beckon at the Allianz Stadium and Rabiot will undoubtedly be the bargain of the summer.

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