Such confusion was never more obvious that when Barca travelled to the Santiago Bernabeu in late October to face Real Madrid. Despite having been trusted as a regular starter, Rakitic was relegated to the bench as Xavi started.
Read my full opinion column for ESPN "After Ivan Rakitic embraced his Barcelona role, success followed" here.
It's your turn
What do you think? How has Rakitic impacted Barcelona's game? Would you consider Rakitic a worthy replacement of Cesc Fabregas? I'd love to hear your views. Share your thoughts with our fellow Blaugranas in the comment box below.