10th April 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
PSG's monumental Champions League quarter-final clash with Manchester City presented Adrien Rabiot with the perfect chance to show how far he's come since first joining the Manchester club as a 13-year-old.

Having spent just six months with City, Rabiot's defiant mother, Veronique, decided she wasn't impressed with the way the club was handling her boy and made the call for him to return home.

Once back in France, after spells with small outfits, Pau and Pole Espoirs de Castelmaurou, PSG, well aware of his obvious talent, offered him the chance to join their prestigious academy aged 15. Unsurprisingly, he didn't hesitate in accepting their invitation.

The manager in charge at the time was Carlo Ancelotti, and he immediately recognised the immense talent of Rabiot and, only a year after he'd arrived, duly promoted him to train with the first-team.

Since debuting for the club at senior level, back in 2012, it's been difficult for him to really cement a spot in the starting lineup due to the club's relentless policy of bringing in established stars, instead of giving youth a chance.

This season has undoubtedly been a breakout one for the former Toulouse loanee, however, as the wildly gifted 21-year-old has already featured 32 times this campaign. But, despite stringing together some excellent performances, particularly in the absence of Marco Verratti, Rabiot's still not 100 percent committed to the club, for he knows he'll probably never get the assurances he craves that he'll start every game when the team's at full strength.

Rabiot's never been shy in voicing his frustration about his lack of playing time, and even though he's been a regular of late, all those times he's spent on the bench aren't lost on him. "People sometimes have short memories. They forget, for example, that for several weeks early in the season I was left on the bench," he insisted.

"I also play regularly because of the injury to Marco Verratti."

Having missed out on Didier Deschamps' latest squad for the recent round of internationals, his dissatisfaction is certainly understandable. If he can continue to produce some similarly exceptional showings like the one he put in against his former club, Man City, on Thursday night, though, there's no reason to suggest he can't still obtain a coveted spot in France's final 23.

Aside from scoring a crucial goal in his side's fascinating 2-2 draw at the Parc des Princes, Rabiot's maturity, discipline, athleticism and technique all shone through. From his central midfield post, he looked right at home from the outset, never letting the occasion get to him, as he went about his work with enthusiasm and confidence.

Rabiot's loping strides saw him motor across the pitch in an almost effortless fashion, allowing him to rapidly cover a huge amount of ground in a short period, while also making him a hugely challenging obstacle for opponents to get around. When coupled with his unique, languid dribbling style, it was unsurprising that City had huge difficulties in stopping his customarily incisive forward surges with the ball at his feet.

An astute passing of the ball, with masterful vision and an exquisite range of passing, Rabiot's superb one and two touch game saw him able to intricately combine with his teammates in tight areas. Moreover, his aptitude in this regard was also unquestionably key in him being able to facilitate so much of his side's best work in possession.

Arguably the most important aspect of his terrific body of work, however, came in situations where PSG's deepest lying midfielder, Thiago Motta, would push forward. In such instances, Rabiot displayed invaluable tactical discipline and awareness by dropping back to cover Motta, which ensured that the PSG backline weren't left exposed whenever a turnover occurred.

For the man who idolises Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard, this was yet another indication of how incredibly talented Rabiot is. At just 21, it's remarkable to think that he's already won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, but the determined starlet's focus will quickly switch to his side's league fixture with Guingamp and the second leg of their Champions League tie with City.

He'll be desperate to continue his marvellous form in these fixtures, for if he does, he'll be giving himself every chance of booking his place in Didier Deschamps' France squad for the Euros. After biding his time on the bench for so long for Laurent Blanc's PSG, earning a place at the summer showpiece would certainly be a deserved reward for all his perseverance and hard work.

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