El buen rendimiento que está ofreciendo el jugador del Sevilla, Alberto Moreno, en los partidos que está disputando esta temporada con el primer equipo del club comienza dar sus frutos también en las categorías inferiores de la selección española.<br /><br />El lateral sevillista ha sido convocado por la selección nacional sub 21 para sustituir al canterano del Barçelona, Carles Planas, lesionado en el entrenamiento de este miércoles, para los partidos que disputará el combinado nacional este jueves ante Noruega en Toledo y el próximo lunes ante Rusia en Alcorcón.
During the summer there was great attention and analysis of Luka Modric’s move to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur. However, it’s another Croatian who has dominated in La Liga this season and one who, at €1.5m, cost a mere fraction of his compatriot.<br /><br />In a season of very few consistencies at Sevilla, one of them has been the form and influence of 25-year-old Ivan Rakitic. Along with regular schemer Jesús Navas he has become an integral member of the setup, alleviating the pressure and onus on Navas to produce for a team lacking an out and out creative player. <br /><br />Even with his tally of 8 assists - the highest of any player outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona, along with Carlos Vela – there is much more to the Croatian’s role than meets the eye. Although he may not have the natural flair of a Mesut Özil or Andrés Iniesta figure, he balances it out with an incredible work ethic and readiness to improve.<br /><br />The game on Monday night against Athletic Bilbao showcased the best of Rakitic, from the graft to the grace, and earned him a coveted spot in WhoScored’s La Liga Team of the Week. He managed his 8th assist of the season due to a perfectly whipped in free-kick, a speciality of his, which Álvaro Negredo scored from. He also produced 3 key passes, and had 3 successful dribbles – the most in the team along with José Antonio Reyes. He was dispossessed 5 times though, so choosing when to release the ball might be advised.<br />
<br />The balance came from his defensive contribution, making three tackles, making an interception and winning 4/4 of his aerial duels – well above his average of 1. Typically, Rakitic was aggressive off the ball and added plenty of discipline to Sevilla when they were on the back foot, taking up key positions to reduce space for Athletic.<br /><br />This season under both Míchel and Unai Emery the Croatian has been positioned in both a wide left role, tucking in to provide presence in central areas, and as a standard central player moving from box to box. Upon his arrival in Spain, Rakitic was seen as a player lacking mobility and who would be best suited as an organiser, sitting and distributing. Although he did play in that role it’s as a mobile cog in the Sevilla’s works that he has come to life.<br /><br />The versatility he offers between the lines has invigorated Sevilla’s play, especially given Pitor Trochowski’s lengthy lay-off. The pair were battling out for this central creative spot, but the German’s loss has been a gain for his teammate, who also played in Germany’s Bundesliga. This has mainly been due to the activity of Rakitic, making himself vital over the transition for Sevilla. He’s currently the highest average passer on the team, with 50.4 per game at a 78.6% success rate. Importantly those passes are often in danger areas, with 2.8 key per game, the highest in the team and further evidence that it’s he who runs the show now. <br /><br />As well as the 8 assists he’s produced there have been 5 goals from the Croatian, making him the 3rd top scorer for Sevilla. In the Copa del Rey he netted a further 3, helping Sevilla make the semi-finals and scoring in the second leg against Atletico. This support to the attack has been most welcomed by Negredo, who spends long spells playing a lonely role, and with sharp runs into the penalty area Rakitic makes himself a genuine threat. The distribution of his goals has been interesting too, striking twice with his left, another with his head and then two more from set plays – a penalty and free-kick. Meanwhile, in the Copa del Rey all of his goals came via his right boot.<br /><br />With Gary Medel making forward runs all the more often he needs support defensively, and with Rakitic beside him the Chilean has security. One of Rakitic’s main assets is his work rate, and with the coverage he provides off the ball it provides a solution to closing the gaps that open up with Medel’s roaming forward. Few cover more grass than the Croatian, but the running isn’t aimless as he takes up key positions.<br /><br />Sevilla could’ve sold Rakitic on in January to ease the debt the club has, but instead he remains to play a pivotal role in their quest for a return to European football. In the summer the story may be different, and although his price will be considerably inflated against the amount he arrived for, Rakitic would be an astute signing for most clubs.
<br />Pero con Míchel tenía que bajar y elaborar más no? ahora como mediapunta está siendo más decisivo...vamos, es la sensación que me da, tú ves más partidos del Sevilla<br />
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