After years of Barcelona's approach being based on endless sequences that had to inevitably pass though the boots of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the Asturian manager slowly but surely moved toward a more direct, less speculative system. Horizontal passing was replaced by a mixture of quicker combinations from the wings and longer diagonal balls into space, meaning that the role of Barca's creative midfielder also had to evolve to adapt to the new manager's philosophy.
The experiments of Luis Enrique's first year as manager can be personalised in Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian international may not have Iniesta's magical touch or the mesmerising peripheral vision of Xavi, but he secured a starting spot at the Camp Nou thanks to his defensive discipline, generous effort and ability to balance his team's attack by reading his teammates' movements and moving into position accordingly.
READ my full column "Pogba, Turan signings would represent midfield evolution at Barcelona" for ESPN here.
It's your turn
What do you think? Do you agree with investing heavily on Paul Pogba now so he can join in the future? Would the arrival of Arda Turan improve the current Barcelona squad? I'd love to hear your views. Share your thoughts with our fellow Blaugranas in the comment box below.