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Neymar in Scoring Slump - But How Much Does it Matter?

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The Brazilian hasn’t scored a lot lately, but what about his overall performances?

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Luis Enrique has given Neymar an early break for the holidays, meaning he’ll finish 2016 on a scoring slump.

How bad is the slump?

Well, put it this way - Neymar hasn’t scored in more minutes than Paco Alcácer. It’s worse if you count Paco’s goal against Al-Ahli in a friendly, since that means at least Alcácer snapped his streak while Neymar’s is active.

Neymar hasn't scored since doing so against Manchester City on October 19th.

What’s clear is his form at the start of this season is not at the level it was at a similar point in 2015-16, when he was possibly the best player in the world with Lionel Messi injured.

Less clear is how dire his form is. In his last 7 games, Neymar has given 5 assists, not bad at all.

His last game against Espanyol was perhaps a microcosm of his problems. His decision-making still needs improvement - often he shoots when he should pass or passes when he should shoot. And his shooting needs work, too, with his best chance being wasted in Barcelona’s 4-1 win.

That said, a focus on only his lack of scoring is myopic. His contributions in general are on the rise again. Chances are, this slump will be in the rearview mirror soon.