Ivan Rakitic has not suffered this kind of situation since he came to Spain. In his 10th season here he has started just one game. The five coaches he has had until now have relied on him completely. Gregorio Manzano, Marcelino, Michel, Unai Emery, Luis Enrique and even Ernesto Valverde in his first two seasons.
Rakitic joined Sevilla in the 2010-11 season from Schalke 04 for 1.5 million, in the winter window. His coach there, Manzano, started him in 13 games, and he missed the last five because of a foot fracture - his only bad injury since coming to Spain.
Marcelino, in the 2011-12 season played him but got stacked, with Michel coming in. He played in 36 Liga games, 19 as a starter.
In the 2012-13 season was when he exploded at Sevilla, with Emery coming in. Rakitic started 34 games and scored 8 goals, providing 10 assists.
In 2013-14 he played 34, 29 as a starter, scoring 12 and setting up 12. He also played 16 of 17 Europa League games as a starter, netting 3 and setting up six as his team won the trophy.
Rakitic’s fine performances earned him an 18m euro move to Barcelona for the 14-15 season.
Luis Enrique started him 23 times in La Liga, scoring 5 and setting up 8 in 32 appearances.
In the Champions League he played 12 games, 11 starting, scoring two goals and setting up one, including striking in the final in Berlin as Barca beat Juve.
Rakitic helped Barca to the treble, also playing seven times in the Copa del Rey.
He became irreplaceable for Lucho, playing 36 and 32 times in La Liga the next two seasons, 10 and 9 times in the Champions League, 6 and 8 in the Copa.
That dynamic continued with Valverde in 17-18. Rakitic played 35 league games, 10 UCL, 8 Copa. In 18-19 it was 34 league, 12 UCL, 7 Copa.
The change happened this season. Valverde told Rakitic in Japan and it’s been confirmed during the season. He’s only started one match, against Granada in La Liga, coming off after 62 minutes. He’s been a sub in another six, twice staying on the bench, and against Villarreal he wasn’t even called up.
Rakitic has not shone when he has played and it seems likely he will leave in January. At least for Croatia he's still been crucial, playing 104 matches for his country.