Chelsea would be very clever to sign Ivan Rakitic in the summer and here’s why
According to a report in Daily Mail (h/t Sport), Premier League giants Chelsea are plotting a summer swoop for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. We have only two days remaining in the January transfer window and the Blues are planning a deal that would be done in four to five months time.
However, the report claims that the player would prefer to stay at the Camp Nou despite the Blaugrana’s £65m swoop of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax. The 30-year-old was speaking to the media recently and said that he is happy at Barca.
But Chelsea can change that stance by offering a good deal. Here’s why they should do that in the summer window:
Rakitic’s experience and quality would be key
Chelsea are currently hanging on to their fourth position in the league table, with the focus extensively on finishing in the top-four so that they get back to playing in the Champions League again. They are still alive in the domestic cup competitions, in which they are waiting to face Manchester City in the final of Carabao Cup and Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Hence, the situation is such that improvement in the squad depth is a necessity in the summer. Maurizio Sarri has four very good midfielders, of which two are fixed to start – Jorginho and N’Golo Kante. The toss-up always happens between Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic, the latter of who is on loan from Real Madrid. So midfield addition should be in the primary list of things for the Blues.
Ivan Rakitic is one such player who can operate in any of the three positions in a midfield three. He has tremendous qualities with the ball, as he can pass with accuracy, thread through balls and also drive through the midfield to create space for a key pass or a shot.
However, the fantastic thing is how he functions without the ball. We saw much of that in the World Cup when the Croat displayed immense work rate and tenacity to win back possession as soon as possible. He does that for Barcelona as well. Hence, he is one of the best central midfielders in European football.
Thus, what Chelsea have to do is offer a good deal to the 30-year-old along with the opportunity of playing in the Champions League, which can only happen if they finish in the top four or win the Europa League. Hence, the Blues need to create a good base this season and get their man in the summer.