5 Reasons Neymar's Signing Is a Must for Barcelona
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Neymar has yet to set foot outside of Brazil in his footballing career, yet he already divides opinion the world over in a manner that few other players could dream of achieving.
From Youtube sensation to Copa Libertadores-winning hero, those who idolise the young Brazilian range dramatically in reasoning. Likewise, those who dismiss him as "overrated" or "potential flop" often have very different reasons and basis for doing so.
The question remains, then, as to just what the young Brazilian can add to the Catalan side—especially given the need for strengthening required in other areas.
Let's, then, look at five of the biggest reasons for the signing of Neymar this summer.
An End to Messi-dependencia
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Are Barcelona dependent on Lionel Messi? The common perception varies from week to week, as a Messi-less Barca smash past a low-end La Liga side, before the little Argentine seems to win a game single-handedly just days later.
What is clear is that Messi, as he would any side, makes the Blaugrana a considerably better outfit. Without him, they can at times lack the tools to really harm better opponents.
Neymar, though, could change that. He is not Lionel Messi, and that would be an unfair comparison to make, but he is a direct attacking force that has the ability to be a match-winner.
The Brazilian offers a similar ability to drift past players, he is inclined to shoot upon sight of goal and possesses incredible pace off the mark. In a team like Barcelona's, there can be little doubt he would score plentiful goals.
He will need some time to adapt and settle in to a new team environment, but he has the tools to take a lot of pressure off the Argentine's shoulders.
A Replacement for David Villa
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The exit of striker David Villa from Barcelona has been rumoured for some time, and the player is once more said to be looking to move on this summer. (Mirror)
The forward's exit, then, will leave a space in the club's forward line.
The likes of Cesc, Cristian Tello and Alexis Sanchez have all played their part for the club in attacking areas over the course of the season. None, though, have quite stepped up on the biggest of occasions.
With Messi and Pedro, then, unlikely to shift from their positions in the attacking setup, could it be then that Neymar is being readied to fit into the left-sided forward role that Villa has played so often in recent years?
It is a position he is familiar with, having spent much of his career with club and country playing from the left side of the attack. He would also, perhaps, be more capable of maintaining Barca's fluidity in attack than Villa has proven.
It would certainly appear, then, that the one attacking position Barcelona may need to fill this summer is perfectly suited to Neymar's playing style.
Statement of Intent
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Barcelona's era is over, or so those making sweeping predictions based on this year's Champions League would have you believe.
Confidence will no doubt be down at the Camp Nou, with the manner of their semi-final defeat to Bayern Munich no doubt a cause for soul searching among some of the side's more experienced members.
A confidence boosting transfer, then, is no doubt on the agenda. One or two big name signings this summer and the team, as well as their supporters, will no doubt start fully believing in themselves once more.
The likes of Mats Hummels have been touted, as Barcelona are in need of defensive reinforcements. Defenders, though, never attract the attention that they deserve.
The signing of Neymar, though, would capture the imagination. The Brazilian is known as one of the world's brightest young stars, and comes with a reputation that means his signing would send shockwaves around Europe.
If Barcelona want to start the 2013-14 season as feared as they have ever been, then signing Neymar this summer will guarantee that.
Potential Marketing Windfall
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It is reported that 85 percent of Neymar's current £950,000 per week wage is contributed by 12 main sponsors. (The Sun)
Good looking and fashion conscious, as well as being a wonderfully talented footballer, he is a dream combination for anyone looking for a new face for their brand.
Nike are well aware of his potential and are said to be major players in the potential move of Neymar to the Camp Nou.
The marriage of their biggest young star and most fashionable club brand would be a major success story for the company's financial department. Neymar would instantly become the most profitable asset in football.
For Barcelona, it would be a move that would send incomes soaring to new heights. The club are already an immensely powerful brand, but adding Neymar would no doubt take income figures to new levels.
Given the potential for Neymar to emulate the advertising successes of Ronaldo and David Beckham in the past, his suggested transfer fee would appear good business to some of football's more astute financiers.
A One-off Opportunity
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Neymar is a potentially world-leading talent. That is not to say he will definitely reach the levels of Ballon d'Or winners, but he undoubtedly has the natural ability to reach such heights. Players of his ilk do not emerge that often.
Barcelona know they are in pole position to sign the Brazilian, and they would be mad to miss out on his signature at this point.
Ignoring the financial benefits of his signature, or even the possible need to replace Villa, the signature of Neymar would still be a worthwhile exercise.
When a player with such natural gifts, and potential ability is made available to your club, you sign them. Even if they will displace a popular player, it is a worthwhile exercise.
Neymar has a decade ahead of him at the top level, and his value is unlikely to drop significantly in the coming years.
Ultimately, the biggest way Barcelona could lose out regarding Neymar would be to see him performing at an elite level for any other side. The inability to secure his talent when available could come back to haunt them.