The Catalan side faced Chelsea in their opening pre-season friendly recently and they sustained a narrow 2-1 loss at the hands of the reigning Europa League Champions. Young Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley scored a goal each as Rakitic pulled one back for Barca late on.
After the game, Valverde was talking to the press and he told about Rakitic. He said: "He was an important player. I don't know if he will be this season. New players will arrive and he will have to earn the field. Time passes. He was important."
On the situation of Neymar, he said: "He is a player of another team and I am not talking about players from another team."
When asked about the performance of Antoine Griezmann, he said: "He must get used to the game of the team, but we see that when he has the ball he creates danger. We expect a lot from him."
On Frenkie de Jong, he said: "Today he played as a midfielder in front of the defense, but he can play in any role in that department."