Tottenham Hotspur’s midfield revamp shouldn’t just stop at Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as the door has opened for them to make further improvements this summer…
Back in April, Mundo Deportivo claimed Jose Mourinho was keen to sign Barcelona outcast Ivan Rakitic after following his situation closely but they face competition from Juventus, Atletico, Napoli and Sevilla for the £18m-rated veteran.
Now it has been reported by the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel that the Croatian international can leave the Nou Camp as part of a mass exodus under newly-appointed Ronald Koeman.
It remains to be seen how much the 32-year-old would command but with him entering the final year of his contract at the La Liga giants, it surely wouldn’t be budget-breaking.
Despite rarely featuring for Barca this season, Rakitic is a player who still has plenty left to give and Mourinho has always been a huge fan of his.
Speaking as a pundit for beIN Sports earlier this year, the Portuguese boss claimed that Rakitic was “one of the most underrated players in the world” and added: “He is a fantastic player at every level. He does defensive work on the right side to compensate for Messi. He runs miles. In ball possession he is fantastic. He is simple, he is effective.”
His numbers for the 2018/19 season back this up too – per WhoScored, the deep-lying playmaker averaged 1.5 interceptions, 1.4 shots, 0.9 tackles and a 91.4% passing accuracy across both the Champions League and La Liga.
From an attacking sense, this is something Harry Winks fails to achieve in a similar role whilst the Croatian is clear for interceptions too after the 24-year-old managed just 1.2 per game this season.
If anything, Rakitic can come in and mentor Winks for the next season or two and have him primed to compete as his successor later down the line.
But for now, the academy graduate appears to be the makeweight with Hojbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Mousa Sissoko competing for very few places.
AND in other news, Shock move for PL starlet would just be Troy Parrott 2.0…