Rabiu has so far failed to make an impact at notable European clubs like Sporting Lisbon, PSV Eindhoven and Celtic. But Shiels believes the 21-year-old playmaker who has so far had a stunted career has the capacity to live up to his full potential.
“I would class Rabiu as a player we can develop,” Shiels said. “I think Rabiu’s career is on the descent and I don’t want to give him any discouragement when I say that. But he needs a kick-start – and I feel we can provide that.
“Having looked at Rabiu’s career, it’s clear the ability must be there. He’s been at clubs such as PSV Eindhoven and Celtic.
“That tells you something. But, for whatever reason, his career hasn’t taken off.
“People in the game and scouts I’ve spoken to have said Rabiu has great potential.
“But I don’t want to be sitting in four years’ time describing him the same way – as having potential.
“He has to start fulfilling that now. And if we can get him to his maximum potential, then we’ve got a good player.
“The first thing we have to do is make him feel comfortable. To give him an environment where he’s going to develop,” he said.
Rabiu is expected to make his debut for his new club when they host Dundee United on January 19 at the Rugby Park.