Neymar should stay in Barcelona’s past

Brazil's forward Neymar reacts during the friendly football match between Saudi Arabia and Brazil at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on October 12, 2018. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)
Brazil's forward Neymar reacts during the friendly football match between Saudi Arabia and Brazil at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh on October 12, 2018. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images) /

Making a move for the former Barcelona man would be a big mistake for the club.

Rumours have emerged in the international break over Neymar’s future at PSG and his desire to return to Barcelona. The big move to the French capital hasn’t lived up to his expectations as he has helped the team become a dysfunctional mess heavily imbalanced towards the attack. They dominate domestically but haven’t made much of an impact in the Champions League, with a win over a struggling Bayern Munich side last season being the high point.

There is also a certain player to consider who joined PSG in the same summer as him: Kylian Mbappe. The hugely talented 19-year-old helped France to a World Cup in the summer and is well on the way to being one of the top players in the world within the next few seasons. He is threatening to eclipse Neymar in the Brazilian’s own project, which isn’t good for his reputation. Couple this with lack of European success and a move away looks likely within the next few seasons.

It’s understandable why he is being linked with a return to Barcelona because he was a key part of the Champions League success in 2015, and there are worries about who will replace Lionel Messi when he eventually leaves the club or retires. Nonetheless, signing him isn’t the right move for the club because of the impact he would have on the team’s balance, his antics on and off the pitch as well as how he departed the club.

The club has Ousmane Dembele and Malcom who are both gifted prospects playing on the wing. They are both 21-years-old and have promising futures ahead of them. Dembele, in particular, could follow his compatriot Mbappe in becoming one of the best in the world. Therefore, signing Neymar would disrupt their progression and affect the club’s investment in players signed to replace him at the club.

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His acrimonious departure from the club shouldn’t be forgotten, either, even if he is still on good terms with key players in the squad. He didn’t leave the club until August which didn’t leave them long to find a replacement and there was no indication that he informed Barcelona’s board prior to that in order to allow them time to develop a plan. In fact, he actually waited until after a large loyalty bonus was activated and sued the club when they refused to release it.

Even if these issues were all ignored, he would still cost a lot to bring in due to his reputation as a top player in the world as well as his brand. The French champions are unlikely to be willing to lose much on their large investment.

Then there are his antics to consider as well because some cules seem to have forgotten them and instead are blinded by his impressive numbers. He missed the game around his sister’s birthday for three years running and ended up missing a crucial Clasico near the end of the 2016/17 due to suspension after sarcastically applauding the official following a second yellow card. A Messi-inspired performance ensured Barcelona didn’t miss him and came away from the Santiago Bernabeu with a 3-2 win.

He is a supremely talented footballer as shown by his 105 goals and 77 assists in 186 games for Barcelona, however, his behaviour means that this can’t be viewed in isolation because he generates headlines and acts like a diva. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn from Messi in regards to mentality, which is stopping him from reaching the very top.

Even if we ignore these valid reasons for not signing him, he would unbalance the team. There is no doubt that he would ease the creative burden on the Argentine wizard, but he’s unlikely to take defensive responsibilities seriously and this would leave the team exposed. A trio of him, Suarez and Messi or him, Messi and Dembele would be a backwards step for the club because having such a talented trio forces the team to work around it and reduces tactical flexibility.

Next. Barcelona are making a huge mistake with Malcom. dark

Overall, he is simply not worth signing and the club should stay well clear even if that means he goes to Real Madrid. The club needs to keep faith in Dembele, Malcom and Philippe Coutinho rather than bringing back someone who is just going to use the club for his own ends once again. Barcelona have been against signing former players in recent years as was made explicitly clear when Thiago was available in the summer, and he would have been a much better fit, so the club shouldn’t make an exception for Neymar.