Why Arsenal should make a move for Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic
According to Sky Sports, Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic wants to leave the Spanish champions at the end of the season. The midfield star is worried about being crowded out of the side with the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax in the summer and potentially Adrien Rabiot too. The Croat was the subject of a colossal bid from PSG last summer and the Catalans are braced to receive fresh bids for him in the summer.
According to the Guardian, Premier League giants Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are monitoring the situation along with Serie A side Inter Milan. However, the Gunners could have an upper hand, thanks to Unai Emery’s relationship with the player when they worked together in Sevilla.
Ivan Rakitic moved to the La Liga in 2010 and has spent nine seasons there with Sevilla and Barcelona. The former Schalke man has over 100 goals and assists in Spain and is a brilliant midfielder. The Croatian has won everything in Spain including three La Liga titles, one Europa League and one Champions League.
He has also won 100 caps for Croatia and was a part of the squad that reached the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Rakitic will bring in a massive amount of experience with over 500 senior career games. The question is – how will he fit in at Arsenal?
Under Emery at Sevilla, Ivan Rakitic played as a 10 behind Columbian striker Carlos Bacca. He scored 12 goals and provided 12 assists in a stellar season for Los Hispalenses. Over the years, he has played in every central midfield positions and can bring versatility to the Gunners. With Aaron Ramsey set to leave and Mesut Ozil not preferred by Emery, the Barcelona man could do a job at the Emirates.
The 30-year-old could fit in as a number 10 in front of Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira or can play as an 8 next to either of them. His vision and ability to pick out a pass can unleash Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and help Arsenal reach new heights.
Emery likes players who he has worked with before, as depicted in the signing of Denis Suarez. The pair’s relationship has been very good too with Emery saying that Rakitic was the player he trusted the most.
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His age might prove to be a stumbling block in the deal, but the 30-year-old is still top-class and can ply his trade at the top level for few more years. With a good understanding of Emery’s system, Rakitic could be a fine fit for the Gunners and if available, Arsenal should be in the mix to sign him up at the end of the season.