Barcelona are enjoying a good preseason with their new players getting ample minutes to prove their worth to the club.
While the team still lacks strength in defence, they continue to be linked with former star attacker Neymar Jr., in a transfer that will not only grant Paris Saint-Germain copious amounts of money but also possibly two of our first team players, with Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic or Ousmane Dembélé rumoured to be the involved in the deal.
There is no doubt that Neymar was one of our finest Brazilian imports and an indispensable starter in every match but does this deal make sense at all these days? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of Barcelona re-signing Neymar:
• MSN trio back at it again
The Messi-Neymar-Suarez trio is perhaps one of the best things to happen to the Blaugranes this decade. The team had an able but slow midfield, so the attack needed to cover for them and did it beautifully. The trio supplemented each other’s talent and style of play so well that a match without one of them just wasn’t that comfortable. If Neymar returns to the Camp Nou, the MSN trio will be reunited to torment defences just like old times.
• Champions League chances will improve drastically
The last time Barcelona won the Champions league and Messi won the Ballon d’Or was 2015, the year when Neymar was an integral part of the team. After he left, nothing has worked out for the Blaugranes in terms of European ambitions. Coutinho and Dembélé have so far been unsuccessful in justifying their price tags and Barça have missed out on the coveted trophy, with the left winger’s spot not having been filled the way the club wants it to. With Neymar’s return our chances to win the trophy should increase as the ideal candidate to replace Neymar may very well be the man himself.
• Young midfielders will get a chance
With a lot of investment in this transfer and two starters possibly making the switch if Neymar moves back to the Camp Nou, Barça would ideally be shutting their shop for this transfer window. This means that youngsters can get a chance to feature for the team. With the likes of Riqui Puig, Moussa Wagué and Carles Aleñá performing well in limited minutes last season, this transfer will provide them with a great chance to upgrade their status in the team.
• Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules will mar our ambitions
The UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) were established to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success and in doing so getting into financial problems which might threaten their long-term survival. Neymar is one of the world’s best players currently but getting him back might get Barça into trouble. FFP rules have affected top clubs like Manchester City and PSG to name a few, and adding themselves to the list would be the last thing Barcelona would want.
• Too many attacking options, who will they bench?
Messi, Suárez, Neymar, Griezmann, Dembélé, Coutinho. If this isn’t enough, there are many fringe players and youngsters from La Masia looking for a chance as well. Who and how will Barcelona manage to bench any of these superstars, assuming Coutinho and Dembélé manage to stay in the club and fight for their place? In our pursuit of coming back to the very top, this problem could drag us down. Not to forget the tremendous wage bill that Barcelona will have to maintain, considering the whole first team has superstars with enormous salaries.
• Young attackers won’t get a chance
Carles Pérez dazzled against Vissel Kobe by scoring the winning goals. However, he is likely to see little or no game time in the first team if Neymar returns. Abel Ruiz is another player who has shown plenty of promise but Barça's young attackers may lose hope of ever starring for the first team knowing the squad is large and filled with experienced players.
• Morale and structure of the team will go for a toss
The summer of 2017 was a difficult one for the team, with the club striving to adjust to a life with Neymar’s sudden departure. After a couple of turbulent seasons and some legal disputes against the player, Barcelona are finally on their way to stability. But if Neymar is to join the club, much of that good work will be undone. The team’s overall morale and structure will be compromised and an unstable team, however good it may be, will never achieve anything fruitful.