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4 players Barcelona must get rid of before the transfer window shuts

Elvis Ume O
Top 5 / Top 10
5.15K   //    20 Jul 2019, 19:23 IST

#3 Ivan Rakitic

Rakitic has just two years left on his current contract
Rakitic has just two years left on his current contract

Ivan Rakitic has been a loyal and dedicated servant to Barcelona ever since he completed his transfer from Sevilla in the summer of 2014.

He has played a massive role in all the successes enjoyed by Barcelona in his five years at the club, making 268 appearances in all competitions and winning 13 major trophies.

The Croat has been an ever-present in midfield throughout his time at the club and his importance reached new highs under Ernesto Valverde’s management, as the 53-year-old’s pragmatic methods place more emphasis on hardworking and energetic midfielders, of which Rakitic is an ideal fit.

Having established that Rakitic is an important member of the Barcelona team, it makes no sense to suggest that he should be moved on, but a deeper inquisition into his Barcelona scenario reveals that Rakitic’s position is not as guaranteed as it looks on first glance.

For starters, the fact that the club is willing to use him as a makeweight to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou lays credence to this and there are several factors why this is so.

The arrival of Frenkie de Jong in midfield further congests an already stocked department and with the Dutch international and Sergio Busquets almost certain to be starters, the last spot in midfield would be intensely contested for by at least four men.

Carles Alena would likely continue with his developmental role with cameos off the bench, while Arthur offers technique, close control, and retention of possession, which are all qualities that Rakitic is not especially blessed with.

The former Sevilla man is not particularly noted for his work in the final third, with his value rather coming due to his industriousness and hardworking ethos, but it is pertinent to note that veteran warhorse Arturo Vidal also offers these traits on an even higher level.

Moreover, at 31, Rakitic is rapidly approaching the nadir of his career and with it unlikely that he would sign an extension to his current deal which expires in 2021, this represents the last opportunity for Barcelona to get considerable value from the sale of Rakitic and it is one they should not let slip them by.