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Football La Liga

Camp Nou exit on the cards for once indespensable Ivan Rakitic?


The La Liga has been extremely competitive this season. Rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid who are level on points, have battled it out for supremacy through thick and thin. The Blaugranas have failed to dominate the league as expected, despite the acquisition of striker Antoine Griezmann in a big-money move. This has resulted in questions over the capabilities of manager Ernesto Valverde. However, another aspect has further grabbed headlines. It is the manner in which Ivan Rakitic, once considered untouchable has been sidelined.

Rakitic’s steady decline at Barcelona:

The 31-year-old midfielder was considered an indispensable part of the Barcelona side the last few years, emerging as a pillar. It was considered an extremely rare sight to witness the Croatian midfielder not being involved in a clash under Valverde. 


However, the scenario has drastically changed this season with Rakitic included in the starting lineup on only one occasion. The Croatian has further featured as a substitute, mainly in the last twenty minutes.

One major factor in this regard has been the arrival of midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax in a big-money move. Valverde has preferred a combination of Arthur, De Jong and Sergio Busquets. That is in stark contrast to the confidence expressed by Rakitic, about retaining his spot in the side during pre-season.

Will letting Rakitic move on cost Barcelona badly?

These recent developments have resulted in the Croatian midfielder expressing his reservations about a future with the La Liga giants. This is despite a contract of 2 years yet to be served. 

The decision certainly seems like a shrewd one considering Rakitic’s tirelessness, stamina, intensity and ability to hold his own against the best of opponents. The 31-year-old played a critical role in Barcelona winning the treble back in 2015. Rakitic also made his presence felt following the departure of Xavi. The midfielder is further extremely confident in shooting from outside the box. This was certainly evident from his goal against Spurs in the last edition of the UCL, making him the perfect addition to any side.

Rakitic’s glowing reputation and talk of the player being unsettled had resulted in offers from Paris St Germain, Juventus during the summer. There are no doubts of a similar approach from Inter Milan during the winter window. A stint under Inter manager Antonio Conte could prove to be the perfect launchpad for Rakitic, helping him excel and regain his confidence.

Experts have urged Valverde to give the Croatian regular game-time in order to avoid fatigue setting in amongst the midfielders, which could hamper the overall performance. However, the ex-Athletic Bilbao manager is infamous for his stubborn attitude and inability to be a good man-manager. That could result in Rakitic being shown the door.

This decision could very well backfire for Barcelona, emerging as one which the club looks back upon with extreme regret. 

Written By: Arpitpal Singh.


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