According to multiple, reliable reports, the long awaited wish of Ivan Rakitić has finally been
granted. The Croatian has conducted his medical examinations in Barcelona and will soon
return to his beloved Sevilla. He’ll reportedly sign a two year deal with Las Palanganas along
with the option of one additional year. Moreover, he’ll be taking a significant pay-cut of nearly
€5 million to join the side from Andalucía.
Besides the two clubs having an agreement, it seems like Sevilla will only pay minimal variables for the transfer. Even though the Catalans won’t get a lump sum of cash to generate revenue from. The hierarchy at Barcelona will be pleased that
Rakitić’s departure will somewhat free-up their enormous wage bill. And with Barça’s first sale
under the ‘Koeman era’ in motion, let’s take a look at how Rakitić has fared in the colours of
Assessing Rakitić’s time at Barcelona
Ivan Rakitić was signed from Sevilla back in 2014 for nearly €18 million and to be fair, that has
proved to be a bargain. During the Croat’s 6 year tenure with the Catalans, he has made 310
appearances, scoring 35 goals and assisting 42. He was brought in at the request of Luis Enrique
to replace the recently departed Cesc Fàbregas. Moreover, he had the task of taking the baton
from Xavi to lead the midfield trio with Iniesta and Busquets.
And to say the least, he surpassed his expectations. Rakitić’s debut season with Barça was sensational. He was a vital part of the team that won the club’s second treble and even scored the opener in the Champions League final. That electric form continued into the double-winning season of 2015/16. However, from that season onwards his form deteriorated progressively and his status as an ‘untouchable’ escalated.
There’s no denying that Rakitić is a hardworking and dedicated team player. He has cemented
his name in the Barcelona history books and is appreciated by Culers for his service at the club.
However, though, the image he’ll leave Barcelona with will sadly overshadow his
accomplishments with the Catalan giants. His atrocious performances in big games, such as the
debacles in Paris, Turin, Rome and Anfield, and questionable comments and actions off the
pitch have irritated fans for some while now.
With his conservative style of play, lack of speed,
and inability to resist the press, his game is no longer desired at the club. Additionally, an
ageing player with a huge salary is not what a club like Barcelona, especially now, need going
forward. Barcelona can’t afford to have a sluggish 32-year-old hogging up game time from the
youth. And conversely, Rakitić can’t afford to sit on the bench if he wants to play an important role in the team. So this deal clearly benefits and suits the best interests of the two parties involved.
To sum it up, the announcement of this transfer is not surprising and it has been a long time
coming. In the end, this is the perfect move for Ivan Rakitić. Moreover, for him it’s the love story in which he goes back home to Seville after fulfilling his dream at Barcelona. Ivan’s time at the club
wasn’t all pretty but we Culers are grateful for what he has done for the club and given to the
badge he has worn for 6 years. Thank you and good luck Rakitić, we’ll see you soon!