Barcelona are finally finding their feet this season after an inconsistent start to their campaign. A victory over Inter Milan in the Champions League was followed by a 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla last weekend. Going into the international break, they have moved up the La Liga standings to second and they finally have Lionel Messi fit again. However, Antoine Griezmann, who signed for Barcelona this summer for €120million has not left his mark on the team since his arrival and he has been subject to early criticism by some fans and was recently benched for Ousmane Dembele in Barcelona’s victory against Sevilla.
A recent report according to the Daily Mail suggests that Barcelona will go again for PSG attacker Neymar and this time they will try to use Antoine Griezmann in an exchange deal to bring back their former player to the Camp Nou.
This discussion might not have been even considered if Griezmann hit the ground running from the very beginning. Rather, Barcelona would be discussing how a potential front four with Messi, Suarez, Griezmann and Neymar.
In Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona have a superstar in the making. A player with very significant potential and a lot less baggage around him – the sort of player that is the reason Barcelona are evens favourites to win La Liga with many of the top UK sports betting sites. With Real Madrid still inconsistent despite the return of Zidane, Barca are the team to beat in the eyes of the bookmaking community. Real are out at 3/1 to win La Liga with Atletico just behind them at 4/1.
If not for Neymar’s insistence on leaving in the first place, Barcelona would not have been in this situation. Getting him back does not mean he has changed, it continues to feed his indulgence.
Barcelona paid £146million to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool but according to Spanish outlet AS, they still owe a whopping £84million to Liverpool for the Brazillian’s transfer. Owing that much money to another team for a player that might end up not playing for your club anymore after a year and a half would really turn Catalan guts inside out.
Not only that, they owe a huge sum of £230million was quoted by The Sun as the total amount of money Barcelona owe to clubs in transfer fees which means another attempt at Signing Neymar should be a red-light.
If he forced his way to PSG the first time, what is to stop him from doing it again? Barcelona are first of all a team, that cohesion, togetherness and willingness of the players to play for one another is paramount to winning at the Catalan club.
Let us say they do sign Neymar from PSG, by that time Barcelona would have not only traded either one of Europe’s biggest young talents or one of the world’s best players to an already strong PSG team but some important squad players as well. Those players will need to be replaced after they leave and there is every chance that the Financial Fair Play rules might catch up with them by then.
Neymar is an exceptional talent, one that comes once in a generation and he is undeniable in that respect but what comes with him is too much extra baggage. Even if Barcelona did eventually manage to bring him back to the club, there is no guarantee that their 6/1 likelihood to win the Champions League would become any more likely to happen. Man City and Liverpool are still joint-favourites for that crown this season at 3/1 with most leading bookies.
Barcelona should probably count themselves lucky to have sold him when they did because they may have dodged a bullet.