Barcelona’s midfield buy proving a missed opportunity for Liverpool and United

Ivan Rakitic

Liverpool and Manchester United were linked for Croatian international Ivan Rakitic.

Croatian star Ivan Rakitic netted again for Barcelona last night as the Catalan’s summer purchase continues to prove why he was so sought after.

The roaming midfielder had a stunning campaign for Sevilla last season, hitting double figures for both goals and assists in the Spanish top flight.

His superb performances drew attention from a number of leading clubs, including Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester United.

Both clubs went on big spending sprees this summer, with the Reds bringing in the likes of Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli whereas United opted for Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria amongst others.

The combined amount spent from the English giants totalled more than £250m, an incredible sum yet one can’t help but feel they’ve missed out on arguably the biggest bargain of the summer.

Due to his much-talked about previous release clause at Sevilla, Barcelona managed to land Rakitic for a poultry £14 million - £11 million less than Lallana and a substantial £15m less than Herrera.

So far, in six league games for his new club, the 26-year-old has been in top form and proven why he is widely regarded as La Liga’s best purchase of the summer.

  TeamPosGoalsTotal Att AssistTotal Scoring AttTotal PassAccurate PassPass PercentageAppsMins
Ander Herrera Man Utd MF 2 5 6 253 225 89% 4 321
Adam Lallana Liverpool MF 0 3 3 72 63 87.5% 3 196
Ivan Rakitic Barcelonal MF 2 6 6 475 522 91% 6 508

In his six games representing the Nou Camp outfit, Rakitic has slotted in to his midfield role with ease by maintaining a 91% pass completion rate and contributing in an attacking sense with an average of one shot and one key pass per game.

On the goalscoring front, he has so far found the net twice, his first a long range drive at Levante and his latest coming with an unstoppable header in the 6-0 drubbing over minnows Granada.

With the staggering number of deals flying around this summer and big-money sums paid by the likes of Liverpool and the Red Devils, one can only question the reasoning behind the transfer market's biggest deals and why Rakitic was allowed to leave so cheaply.

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