If Neymar leaves for Paris Saint-Germain as it is widely expected, Barcelona will have to fill a huge void. But they will have mountains of cash to do so.
Barça do not have to find a like-for-like replacement for him, though. The team can spend the bulk of that money on a player who strengthens the team in a different way, not necessarily a left winger.
There are four players who fit the criteria of a young star forward who have been linked with Barcelona.
They are: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco), Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund), and Paulo Dybala (Juventus).
The first thing you’ll notice is these players vary widely in their qualities. Griezmann is 26 and left-footed, while Mbappe is 18 and right-footed. Dembele is 20 and ambidextrous, while Dybala is 23 and left footed.
The team will be set up differently depending on which one they get, and it would affect the rest of the signings as well.
It’s also not clear to what extent those players are available. Griezmann rejected a move to Manchester United due to Atletico’s transfer ban. He may not be open to moving at all this year, though he would be available next year. Mbappe’s price has been quoted as an astronomic 180 million euros. Barça have chased Dembele but been rejected so far. Meanwhile, Dybala is the one that seems the easiest to get, and reports are swirling talks are advanced.
In the end, the star player Barcelona get should not be expected to replace Neymar singlehandedly. With that much money, Barça have the opportunity to strengthen several areas with three or four players.
Of the four, who is your favorite?
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