Goodbye, Ney! Champions League? Here I come!
Neymar Jr; once again, causing trouble in the football transfer market. The Brazilian star is known for his unrivalled skill with the ball, his extraordinary goal-scoring ability and his just as extraordinary and overwhelming off-field persona. So, what's going on in Paris and where will he land next season?
In 2017, Neymar made the biggest transfer ever as he left Barcelona without any previous indication and signed with PSG for a ridiculous €222m; the transfer turned out to be a painfully long process which saw both parties end up with damaged relationships for the foreseeable future between the clubs and Barcelona and Neymar. The Catalan club even filed a claim against Neymar over a supposed infringement of his contract. Neymar's prime aspiration when he swapped Catalunya for France was to escape Lionel Messi's shadow so as to help his very own Ballon d'Or possibilities by taking the Ligue 1 champions all the way to a UCL trophy.
The club and owner both had huge aspirations to Neymar who they saw as the heir to the GOAT throne in the coming years and the last piece to the UCL puzzle. It was Neymar, all things considered, who wrecked PSG in that notorious 6-1 drubbing at the Camp Nou the season prior, scoring in the 88th and 91st minutes before helping Sergi Roberto's victory goal in the 94th. Several years on, however, and PSG are as yet to see their first Champions League title, while Neymar has descended the Ballon d'Or pecking order with Luka Modric shockingly developing as the player to break the decade-long Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi duopoly.
Thus, Neymar is anxious to seal an arrival to Barcelona and has made no mystery of that intention, returning late to pre-season and communicating to the club explicitly that he wished to leave this late spring. With Barcelona looking prone to firm into their enthusiasm for the coming days, Neymar could get his desire. Despite the fact that losing a player of his undoubted quality would be a blow, PSG could rise up out of the entire adventure in a more grounded position. Here are three reasons why…
1. Neymar? Kylian Mbappe is PSG's True God of Football
Ironically Neymar left Barcelona to escape Messi just to wind up dominated by the most energising striker in world football today and a frontrunner to win the Ballon d'Or multiple times a few years down the line.
The 20-year-old joined PSG in a similar type summer-saga as Neymar following a rankling battle with Monaco, however, Mbappe quickly proved his worth: In 57 Ligue 1 matches for the club, Mbappe has scored 46 and provided 16 assists. Mbappe shows a phenomenal progression with no signs of slowing down any time soon.
On the World stage, Mbappe assumed a key role in France's World Cup 2018 win, scoring multiple times even chipping in a goal in the final against Croatia, showing that he has the capacity to influence the biggest games in addition to a radiant personality that drives his team through. Neymar's record at PSG has been just as impressive, however, with 34 goals and 20 assists in 37 Ligue 1 matches, he has played in only 52% and 44% of the club's league games during his two seasons at the club because, however, because of varying injuries. Mbappe, interestingly, has been undeniably increasingly tough. French symbol, Parisian local and a world-beater at 20, he is the player around whom PSG can manufacture a Champions League-winning group.
2. New signings are always nice, am I right?
As per different bits of gossip, Barcelona is setting up a bid of around €100m for Neymar with both Philippe Coutinho, incidentally marked to be his immediate substitution, and the perpetually underrated Ivan Rakitic tossed in for good measure. Hurting from losing Neymar against their desires, Barcelona set to replace the void left by Neymar had very bad “break-up-s(ex)igning” with Coutinho who they bought from Liverpool for £142m in January 2018. The move has not worked out at all and correlations with his countryman have demonstrated unhelpful.
Coutinho was never going to be a like-for-like trade for Neymar given their differentiating ranges of abilities; he has been abused on the left-wing. At Liverpool, Coutinho's best exhibitions originated from a left-sided focal midfield job and PSG could profit by having more creativity in that position having handled the persistent Marco Verratti, a characteristic protector in Marquinhos and the enthusiastic, yet unremarkable, Julian Draxler in their midfield three against Nimes on Saturday.
Then again, Rakitic, who regardless of being one of Barcelona's better purchases over the previous decade, isn't especially well regarded among casual supporters as the superstar he really is, would likewise add quality to that area of the pitch, while Juventus' Paulo Dybala is another player tipped to move to the French capital if Neymar finally takes the plane. In spite of the fact that PSG would lose a demonstrated world-class entertainer, they could apparently be more grounded for it.
3. It would improve the environment at the club... NEY, GET THE F*** OUT!!!
Similarly, as with Barcelona in 2017, the Neymar sideshow has taken steps to undermine the beginning of PSG's season. Or maybe obviously, supporters of the club have been left rankled by Neymar's tricks, considering him a 'child of a b****' during Saturday's 3-0 prevail upon Nimes.
Thomas Tuchel conceded that he could understand where fans were coming from and despite the fact that the German strategist has been quick to praise Neymar's abilities lately, you get the impression that he would preferably see Neymar leave as soon as possible. There was additionally a bizarre circumstance in the Coupe de France game against Rennes not long ago when Neymar seemed to quarrel with Marco Verratti on the pitch before being pushed out of the group photograph by Mbappe. It is indistinct how Neymar's open announcements about leaving have gone down in the locker room.
Neymar was a famous figure at Barcelona and has Brazilian friends at PSG in Thiago Silva and Marquinhos (in spite of the fact that his best mate Dani Alves left to Juve and now back to Brazil). In any case, while Neymar's colleagues will without a doubt value the ability he brings to the group, keeping him could hazard the relationships within the locker room if such is his misery at the club. PSG players will be eager to end their Champions League hoodoo and keeping an agitated, unhappy player could well see their endeavours to win the trophy this season peril.
Will Neymar finally end up with a happy reunion back at Barcelona? Will he maybe go for money and a little bit of glory to Real Madrid (TRAITOORR!!)? Or will he stay at the "Prison of Paris-kaban"? Only time... And a lot of money (and some players in exchange) will tell.