Why Alcacer, Rakitic, Semedo are Trading Up for Barcelona

Trading Up  – Nelson Semedo

After not really featuring regularly for some bizarre reason we are yet to be clear about, Semedo delivered a performance to be proud of against Sevilla in the last game before the international break. The Portugal international was generous with his effort and confident enough to push forward whenever possible, particularly in the early stages of the game. He always had the edge against Sevilla’s forwards, which was encouraging.

Remarkably, Semedo's mere presence makes others around him better as they don’t have to overworry about defensive weaknesses.

Trading Up – Ivan Rakitic

The Croatian international stepped up against his former team, Sevilla, reaching his best level this season. His passing was far more accurate as it had been and managed to add that extra element of physicality, determination to recover the ball when dispossessed which he has lacked all season. 

Rakitic was certainly much more focused on being effective at both ends of the pitch. To round up a performance to remember, Rakitic provided an inch-perfect cross for Alcacer which decided the game. 

I certainly am delighted for him as, given the injuries to Sergi Roberto, Gomes and doubtful continued availability of Iniesta, the Croatian international will be a key protagonist in Barcelona's near future.

Trading Up – Paco Alcacer

Alcacer delivered the best performance of the season against Sevilla, scoring two goals and proving Valverde right after being included in his starting lineup. Both goals proved what a Barcelona striker should be: Aware of the mistakes of others and able to put away chances whenever needed.

Alcacer was also busy defensively, tracking back in ways which reminded me of Pedro’s workrate. The 24-year-old Spaniard was subbed straight way after scoring his second, which some found bizarre, but the move was probably already planned by the manager before the second goal hit the net.

If Alcacer is able to maintain this level of performance and Luis Suarez fails to improve as quickly as needed, it won't be long until Ernesto Valverde has a huge selection problem upfront.

Any guesses as to who our Trading Down player could be this week? Check it out here:

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