After suffering through one too many discussions with others wondering what Neymar actually brings to Barcelona, I feel it is time to add some substance to that argument. Plus, instead of continually repeating myself to weekend footy fans, I can start just texting them the link to this article and take care of the discussion that way. Now, without further ado, here is why Barcelona just went and made themselves even more dangerous with the Neymar transfer.
When it comes to goals in La Liga, only two players actually cracked double digits for goals scored. Of course, Messi scored 46 goals with the closest player to that total being Fabregas with 10. For anyone claiming that Barcelona is a one player team, this stat is a bit scary. The stats are about that slanted when you look at every other tournament. Only in the Copa Del Rey does someone besides Messi take top spot (David Villa with 5/Messi with 4). In the Champions League, this has been a huge problem for Barcelona as they tend to suffer in games where Messi cannot score easily. Add in that Villa is no longer involved with Barcelona and the goals are going to have to come from somewhere.
That is where Neymar comes in.
Before the Confederations Cup, there was a large sect of footy fans that believed that Neymar was only successful because of the league that he was in and that he would never succeed in an elite league. However, Neymar absolutely lit up the Confederations Cup and looked like he could easily make the move to a European League (although, he would probably need to choose a league that would avoid cracking him in half…like the EPL…and Serie A…and the Bundesliga…) and Barcelona definitely made a big move by snagging the Brazilian.
Now that he is with Barcelona, it definitely allows them to return to the three-pronged threat that they seemed to have with Messi on one side, Villa on the other, and Ibrahimovic in the middle. However, this time, it will be Messi on the right wing, Neymar attacking from the left, and a false 9 leading the attack. Neymar’s favorite spot with Santos was attacking from the left-wing and isolating defenders out wide, and Barcelona can easily work that into their preferred 4-3-3. It does mean that this will probably be the last season for Alexis Sanchez to succeed before Barca try and ship him off to the highest bidder.
If Neymar is even able to shift a little bit of the load off of Messi and he starts performing against some of the Champions League level teams, then it could be a massive master stroke for this club. With the Bayern beat-down that Barcelona suffered last season, the team needs some new attacking juice. If they are able to snag a top-tier central defender before the end of the window, then Barcelona may have returned back to being a real contender for snagging every trophy that they compete for.
Messi is still the favorite to snag this season’s Ballon D’Or and add to his three-peat, so you can never rule out Barcelona while he is leading the line. Neymar only adds to this squad and their style of play will always be able to unlock some defenses. If he is successful, then the world will be reminded why Barcelona had so much success over the last few years. Look out!