Neymar's future has been the subject of constant speculation over the summer, with the Brazilian being linked with a move to Real Madrid and a return to Barcelona.
None of these moves have happened and Neymar will be at PSG until January at the earliest.
Oddly enough, Neymar's chances of a return to Barcelona are seemingly getting shorter by the day, and with the Brazilian clearly far from happy at the Parc des Princes, it looks like he will return to where he came from.
His status as a £ 200million man, despite missing a World Cup-winning medal, has evidently been a psychological burden on a man who knows time is running out to tackle both of his gaps at international and club level.
However, while he doesn't have the same chemistry with PSG he loved at Barcelona, there are several notable reasons why he should stay in the French capital.
- Future Safe title at PSG
First and foremost, PSG offer stability and a guaranteed place in the starting XI, and by becoming such an expensive asset, Neymar is very much a victim of his own success. There are few other clubs that could offer Neymar everything he wants, while restructuring their payroll just to accommodate him.
Other perennial winners, such as Juventus and Manchester City, have also been put forward as candidates. However, despite being a a popular choice in just about every game they play, the respective leagues of those clubs might just prove too physical for him. Either way, neither City nor Juventus got off to an optimal start for their title defenses, which should deter him further.
Then there is the possibility that Neymar's only other realistic contenders will go through periods of transition over the next few years - if they aren't already. Real Madrid, for example, are still recovering from a terrible 2018/19 season, having failed spectacularly to build on 2017/18. In response, Real have gone ballistic in the transfer market, with Eden Hazard (at € 100m) the flagship signing of a very busy summer.
With so many new talents in the Real squad, Neymar would be a risky place in the starting XI every week. A sign that the 'Galacticos' are still gelling as a unit, PSG also beat them 3-0 on Matchday 1 of the 2019/20 Champions League group stage, possibly giving Neymar a food for thought.
- 19/20 Champions League could be PSG's best chance yet
While he is already a Champions League winner with Barcelona, his goal now is to join an elite group of players who have won the prestigious trophy with two different clubs in different countries. The continued lack of a Champions League trophy at PSG this century is truly frustrating, given the volume of investment.
Cavani, Mbappe and Neymar are set to reach the Champions League semi-finals at least every year, but with four English clubs blocking the semi-finals of both European competitions last season, PSG fans are under no illusions. . The strong presence of Spanish clubs in the final stages is also a major obstacle for PSG, even though they have - as already noted - humiliated a Spanish giant during this season's edition.
If the Champions League is really all Neymar expects, surely there has to be a way to secretly reserve his energy in Ligue 1 games, which PSG should consistently win - even with a squad that only works. at about 70-80. % full throttle.
A PSG team reserving their best for the Champions League shouldn't have a hard time getting through at least the group stage. Having already burned Real Madrid down and avoided conceding an away goal for them, Club Brugge and Galatasaray should prove to be easy hurdles to negotiate - especially at home.
Significantly, PSG are still undefeated in the home games of the Champions League group stage this decade, with December 2004 being the last time they suffered such outrage. The past two seasons have also seen them win every home game of the group stage against the two lowest-ranked teams in the group, and although victories against such opponents seem insignificant, the base must still be there for a solid KO thereafter.
3 and 4. World Cup hopes and healthy legacy
While Ligue 1 is a much less competitive league than either La Liga or the Premier League, winning trophies is a habit. The same goes for the pressure of playing in a high-profile tournament, both at club and international level.
Whether victory is yet to come or not, experience counts for everything, and with Neymar now a veteran of two World Cup campaigns, he knows 2022 will be his time to combine the feeling of victory with his now vast football experience. international.
Considering how this will disrupt the conventional European football schedule, Qatar 2022 will be a tough tournament for the usual favorites - provided Brazil qualify in the first place as planned.
Even in winter, acclimating to the desert climate will be difficult, and this is something that is open to the exploitation of someone who knows how to win and who still has the legs to cash in the goods the brain demands. Neymar, by 2022, will still be firmly in this category, but his ability to persist through all adversities can only be nurtured in this spell now testing with PSG.
At this point, his vast experience and mental resilience - though not really rewarded - could still be put to good use at Parc des Princes. With mass investment comes formidable young talent, and despite his ability to sulk like few others, Neymar's natural tendency will be a good example for emerging talent over the next few years.
- Warm welcome not guaranteed at Camp Nou
Barcelona are his most likely contenders, and while it's a move that makes a lot of sense, there is the potential for a myriad of issues. Understandably, from a game point of view, he would be a welcome inclusion in a squad filled with now aging serial winners, but there remains the question of how he could get back into the Blaugranes XI.
Lionel Messi has already spoke with dismay to the failure of the takeover of Neymar by Barcelona. While Messi himself may well find himself joining the expected exodus to MLS in the early 2020s, Neymar's presence may be more felt than welcome among those who appreciate Messi as much as the club themselves.
This would especially be the case if Neymar's rebirth with the Blaugranes somehow accelerated Messi's departure or forced others - like Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal - to see this as a signal to move on. Too many leavers at once will only disrupt Barcelona's indomitable spirit, and that's not the legacy Neymar ultimately wants.
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