In the summer of 2011, we signed a midfielder who was tasked with adding a new element to the club- more direct passing and less predictability to our style of play.
Three years later, that midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, has departed the club after failing to live up to his expectations. Ivan Rakitic has arrived to do what the Spaniard couldn’t.
Fabregas’ primary issue at Barcelona was that his random movement ruined the structure and organisation of Barcelona’s midfield unit. Xavi and Iniesta just couldn’t operate with Cesc making cutting runs all over the show.
Rakitic, meanwhile, is less mobile and far more organised and more to the line of Xavi’s style of play. Statistically, his completion rate on forward passes was 34.7% in last season’s La Liga campaign. This is in comparison to 22.8% for Xavi and 27.2% for Fabregas.
That kind of passing ability will add an entirely new dynamic to our team and will be incredibly useful for the provision of attacking chances for our new ‘trident’ of Messi Suarez and Neymar.