Why Everton must make a move for Ivan Rakitic in January
According to a report from The Marca, Barcelona are ready to move on Ivan Rakitic in the January transfer window.
The Croatian international, 31, looks increasingly likely to leave Barcelona in the near future after falling out of favour with manager Ernesto Valverde this season.
He has featured for just 206 minutes of the 12 games played, with the Barcelona boss preferring the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Arthur Melo and Sergio Busquets ahead of him in the midfield.
Ivan Rakitic’s future is in doubt at the Nou Camp, even though he is contracted at the club until 2021.
The report adds Barcelona the 31-year-old is open to offers in January and the likes of Manchester United and Juventus remain interested in him. That being said, Everton should rekindle their interest and make a move for Rakitic when the transfer window reopens.
Back in August, the Guardian had claimed that Everton were interested in Rakitic but the midfielder wasn’t ready to leave Barcelona and fight for his place in the team.
As the deal didn’t materialise, the Toffees moved to sign Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, whilst turning Andre Gomes’ loan deal permanent.
Marco Silva lost a massive cog in his engine room in Idrissa Gueye, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. To fill Gueye’s void as well as reinforce his midfield options, Silva decided to spend on Gbamin, Delph and Gomes. However, barring Gomes, the move hasn’t paid rich dividends.
Gbamin has been ruled out until January after having surgery on a thigh injury. The Ivorian, who had joined from Mainz, managed only two Premier League appearances before breaking down in training ground.
The departure of Gueye and the long-term injury to Gbamin has pushed Delph into regular action anchoring the midfield, but Everton have lacked energy and dynamism from the middle of the park with the 29-year-old in the team.
Gomes and young Tom Davies have looked robust as a double-pivot in Silva’s 4-2-3-1 formation, but the Toffees certainly could do well with some experience to have better control over games.
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Rakitic could bring some invention to Everton’s inconsistent midfield, whilst adding much-needed experience.
He will bring another dimension to the Toffees set-up; leadership, winning mentality and passion that has won trophies with Sevilla and Barcelona as well as helped Croatia reach the World Cup finals last year. All in all, the Croat could take Everton’s midfield to the next level.
Despite his advancing years, Rakitic would be a major coup for the Merseysiders. But it would make sense if Everton manage to sign the midfielder on a short-term loan until the end of the season.