According to Tuttosport, as cited by TeamTalk, Barcelona are plotting a late move regarding a potential swap deal involving Emre Can and Ivan Rakitic. The Spanish giants recently missed out on their pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar. But that hasn’t deterred them from making the necessary overhaul in midfield. As a result, they are keen on offloading Rakitic in favour of signing Can.
But is it a viable move from the club? Let us see how these two midfielders stack up against each other.
Style of play
Can is a defensive midfielder by trade. The German international likes to camp himself in the middle of the park and disrupt the flow of the opposition with strong tackles. He is also good at reading the game, allowing him to make crucial interceptions. He has a strong and imposing physique as well, standing at 1.86m.
At the same time, the ex-Leverkusen star likes to drive forward and make runs into the final third. As for Can’s aggression, it enables him to hurry and hassle the opposing ball-carriers – making him quite useful in the pressing scheme.
Rakitic, on the other hand, is not necessarily an attack-minded midfielder. But, the Croatian international generally likes to operate in an advanced midfield role. He is quite composed on the ball and is often aware of his passing options, meaning he rarely loses possession of the ball. It also allows him to act as a ball-carrier in half-spaces, making him an ideal player for a possession-based system.
Additionally, the experienced midfielder is proficient when it comes to set-pieces. Emre Can can create a plethora of chances for his team while his technical prowess allows him to link-up with his teammates in the final third.
Who is more useful to the Barcelona side?
Barcelona’s interest in Can makes a lot of sense as Sergio Busquets is nearing the final phase of his career. The Spaniard is already 31, and the club does not have any immediate alternative aside from Arturo Vidal, who is also 32. Can, in that regard, can be utilised as a back-up for Busquets in the number six slot – making him an invaluable part of the Barcelona midfield unit.
As for Rakitic, Barcelona have already found a replacement in the shape of Frenkie de Jong. The Dutchman is expected to become the face of the Barca midfield in years to come, having joined from Ajax this summer. Besides, the Catalans also have other talented options like Carles Alena and Arthur Melo, which should nullify the importance of Rakitic in the current squad.
Hence, this is indeed a viable swap deal from Barcelona’s perspective. But, it remains to be seen whether or not Juventus are willing to accept the offer.