Wright tells England to expose Chelsea, Liverpool target in World Cup quarter-final – ‘he switched off’

Lewis Oldham
Wright advises England

Ian Wright has told England that they should target Chelsea and Liverpool-linked Adrien Rabiot when they face France in the World Cup quarter-finals.

Rabiot was one of the players Manchester United targeted during the summer transfer window.

This move was talked about after the Red Devils lost their first two games of the 2022/23 Premier League season.

An €18m deal was discussed as Rabiot entered the final year of his contract at Juventus. This transfer eventually fell through though following heavy backlash from United’s supporters.

But given Rabiot’s form this season, United may regret deciding against bringing him in during the summer. He is now being linked with the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.

The 27-year-old has played in a more advanced role this term as he has grabbed five goals and two assists for Juventus across all competitions.

Rabiot has taken that positive form into the World Cup as he has been part of France’s midfield alongside Real Madrid’s Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Juventus man has been one of the surprise packages at this World Cup as he has performed well on the whole.

But France have been a bit open defensively as they have not kept a clean sheet in their four World Cup games so far.

The 2018 World Cup winners come up against England in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Wright thinks Rabiot’s poor defensive work can be exposed by Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson after the pair combined for England’s opener against Senegal on Sunday night.

“What I saw of Rabiot – [Jordan] Henderson and Jude Bellingham broke through today – he is someone who can switch off,” Wright said on ITV.

“He switched off when they conceded, switched off in the box and they conceded in the box – he’s going to have to keep his wits about him because France have not kept a clean sheet.

“We have to go into that game believing we can beat them otherwise what are we doing?”

Despite this, France boss Didier Deschamps was full of praise for his players after they beat Poland.

“It was not easy because this Polish team is well-organised to upset us and leave,” Deschamps said after France’s win over Poland.

“There has been a unity since the start, obviously after the results and to be quarter-finalists this evening, it’s something good – it comes to concretise all that.

“But the state of mind of the group – I also have a staff who work, who are at their disposal. It is the shared joy. We will have a little more time so we will take advantage of our loved ones and our family as it was planned.”

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