The Barcelona outcast who could determine where the Premier League title ends up

Ed Angeli

The January transfer window is just absolutely spot on for us football fans; as if the game isn’t exciting enough, we get to speculate on the world-class players potentially upping sticks from their current clubs to spin the Premier League title race upside down – reminiscent of some Tom and Jerry cartoon. 

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Barcelona are going through their own cartoon soap opera, as they find themselves five points off Real Madrid – who have a game in hand – and they are trailing in their Copa del Rey tie against Atletico Bilbao.

To make matters worse, it seems that Luis Enrique has sidelined Croatia’s best ever player – sorry Luka – as Ivan Rakitic was left out of the recent matchday squad and subbed recently at half-time in the El Clasico draw. Of course – as we all predicted – cue social media blowing up, cue Rakitic increasing his BA air miles…

With the pull of Pep Grumpiola seeming a tempting factor for the Barcelona man; we can’t help but feel that absolutely every other club in the top five should be putting off all other January plans in a bid to sign the Croatian midfielder. The 29-year-old would upgrade every single sides midfield – and inevitably – probably prove fairly decisive in where the title ends up, this season.

Take Chelsea, as good as N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matić are together; there’s a clear missing of creativity in the midfield. Cesc Fabregas is just not good enough anymore to carry teams through a game, so adding Rakitic in this mix gives you a far greater balance. He’s the sort of midfielder who does everyone’s job, whilst also chipping in with seven league goals as he did last season.

Speaking of finding goals from midfield, over at the Emirates, their best midfielder is Francis Coquelin, and the Frenchman has been carrying Arsenal all season, but is safer in his own six-yard box rather than the opposition. Granit Xhaka still thinks he’s playing in the Bundesliga, Santi Cazorla looks set to rival Jack Wilshere in giving the medical staff a pay rise, and Aaron Ramsey, well, the Gunner only really fancies turning up for Wales.

You’ve then got Tottenham, who probably have the best XI in the league; and in Mousa Dembele Spurs have a midfielder who is the perfect anchor for the Lilywhites spine. Adding Rakitic to this would give Dembele further licence to get forward, and show how capable the Belgium is in-front of goal… we’ve seen him do it before, and having the assured Rakitic alongside Dembele would be the perfect midfield combination.

Liverpool are perhaps in less need of the Croatian due to Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum already providing a sturdy partnership to allow the Reds forward to express their attacking nature. So it seems as if it’s over to London to try and sabotage Manchester City’s move. We don’t see why they would hesitate, the Barca man would surely strengthen anyone’s title bid.

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