Why Manchester United should revive their interest in Ivan Rakitic
Despite the loss to Crystal Palace, Manchester United have made a much better start to their season than last season with some difficult fixtures out of the way.
Their defence looks as solid as any other team in the Premier League and their new-look attack with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford leading the line has gotten off to a great start.
The one area of concern is the midfield. Paul Pogba is a world-class performer and Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard are workhorses but they need to add some more quality to complete the puzzle.
One player they were linked with was Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian is now 31 and is surplus to requirements at Barcelona with the addition of Frenkie De Jong.
Rakitic has had a fantastic career, having been a success in the La Liga and Bundesliga. He’s coming towards the end of his career and despite not being his usual best, he would add some depth to a very thin midfield.
Rakitic is just an all-round midfielder, who can act as a playmaker at times, can pinch in with some goals, has a fantastic passing range without compromising on his defensive work-rate.
Nemanja Matic is on the final year of his contract and Rakitic doesn’t play in as deep a role as the Serbian but would work very well in a double pivot with Scott Mctominay and allow Paul Pogba to have more of an effect in the final third.
Rakitic can play as a deep-lying playmaker against weaker opposition and keep the game ticking, which is one of his main attributes and will also become one of the more senior players in a squad that is very young.
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United face Crystal Palace tomorrow in a game that they should be winning and should be able to take that momentum into the rest of the season. They’ve made a positive start and head into a run of fixtures that are quite favourable. With rivals facing one another soon, this is a good opportunity to build a head of steam.