Like most Barcelona fans, when Neymar Jr left Barcelona for PSG in a move involving a lot of smoke and mirrors, I was utterly disappointed and felt incredibly betrayed. For four years, Neymar had been the pride of Cules across the world and many knew that with him in the ranks, Barcelona’s future was secure. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the Brazilian these days with many saying that he did his best to get away from the shadow of Lionel Messi, only to find himself in the shadow of Europe’s golden boy, Kylian Mbappe.
These claims are not entirely wrong, but there’s still a huge gap between the outputs of the two players. Neymar is definitely more mature than the lightning-fast Frenchman.
With that said, here are three reasons why Neymar returning to Barcelona will not be a bad thing.
1. Neymar is an employee like anyone else
While football is often associated with a lot of emotional connect between the fans and the clubs, one has to remember that Neymar is just another employee, like you and me. Yes, his job puts him on television screens but if there’s ever an opportunity to make more money, most of us would jump at it, much like the Brazilian.
Some people cannot be bothered by trophies and are only in the profession to improve their bank accounts, which is completely fair. Was the manner of his departure reprehensible? Yes. Is it really the worst thing a Barcelona player could do? No. If you doubt it, just ask Luis Figo.
2. Barcelona’s left-wing hasn’t been the same since his departure
There are many who absolutely love Philippe Coutinho, but if we are simply talking facts, Neymar is miles ahead of him in terms of talent and productivity. Both are special players in their own right, but Neymar is simply a generational talent and if it hadn’t been for his move to PSG, he would still be rated as one of the top-three players in the world.
Neymar’s pace made him a powerful tool in Barcelona’s arsenal, and his technique and vision meant that few could contain him during counter-attacks. Coutinho is good, but he is no Neymar, and it shows. The prospect of having two incredible wingers like Neymar and Ousmane Dembele flanking a central Lionel Messi is tantalising and definitely a possibility that needs to be explored if possible.
3. Neymar is still the same person and his ties with the club have continued
The Brazilian has not changed. He is no different from when he first stepped foot in the Camp Nou. Perhaps, he is even humbled from the experience of leaving Barcelona, which is apparent in his constant visits to the club and the more recent feelers that have been floating around.
His friendship with the team’s senior players is as strong as ever and it is obvious that they miss his presence as much as he misses theirs. If the club can make it happen, they should bring back the prodigal son who lost his way.
Given the chance to bring the Brazilian back, I would do it. The transfer fee being rumoured is perhaps not the best, but there has to be some work-around. The bitterness may remain, but if he can play like he did in his final year, much will be forgiven. Neymar was the driving force in Barcelona beating PSG at home in the historic UCL comeback and he has done enough good with the club to deserve another chance.