Though Neymar is now officially a member of Barcelona, everyone is still waiting to see what impact he will have on the club. But it is no secret that his arrival will already be affecting some players at the Catalan club.
Such a high-profile purchase easily has an effect on everyone, but there are some who will benefit from his arrival while others will be hindered.
This article will discuss the six players most affected by Neymar’s voyage to Barcelona, both on and off the field.
This one comes as no surprise. Whether Neymar joined Barcelona or not it was already clear that David Villa had one foot out the door.
But now that Neymar will be in the Blaugrana jersey, Villa is the odd man out.
Spain’s all-time leading goalscorer is looking for regular first-team football, and he will not find that at Barcelona. Neymar will demand the bulk of the playing time on the left wing, leaving Villa very few appearances if he remains at Barcelona.
Several clubs have shown interest, but none seem to be as keen on the forward as Arsenal. The Gunners have made him a top target this summer according to the Mirror. Their interest reaches as far back as January.
For David Villa the arrival of Neymar only means one thing: an exit.
Neymar is already a star at only 21 years of age. But there are already two rising stars at Barcelona who’s futures may now be in jeopardy.
Cristian Tello and Gerard Deulofeu may be the most exciting forwards to come out of La Masia since Lionel Messi. Both have tremendous talent but will be forced down the pecking order due to the arrival of Neymar.
The less affected of the two will be Cristian Tello. The 21-year-old dazzled fans this season with his speed and ability to change games. Neymar may be an immediate starter, but Tello is versatile enough to be able to fight for a spot on the other side of the pitch.
However, Deulofeu will be hindered the most of any player due to Neymar making the switch.
At 19 years of age, Deulofeu still has a ton of development left. He was only recently promoted to the first team, but his playing time will likely be very limited.
Football-Espana has reported that Barcelona wishes for Deulofeu to join Borussia Dortmund on loan to continue his development. While a loan spell would be great for the starlet, it could also end his Barcelona career before it even begins.
Both Tello and Deulofeu have showed that they have unbelievable talent at such young ages. Neymar, however, is on a different level completely. Barcelona will want to keep all three youngsters in the mix, but that is much easier said than done.
Be honest, you knew that Lionel Messi was going to be on this list as soon as you read the title.
Messi has been forced to carry the scoring load for Barcelona for a little over two seasons now. Neymar will finally give the Argentine a true partner up front and someone who can complement him perfectly.
The duo has the chance to become the greatest striking partnership in football history and that is exactly what Barcelona is hoping for.
Neymar will create more space for Messi than he has seen in the last few seasons. Both forwards will demand attention from defenders, which will only spread opponents too thin. With two talents like this on the pitch together, the possibilities are unlimited.
Then again there is a chance that things will not go as smoothly as everyone expects.
With two stars come two egos. Messi and Neymar will have to balance out their personalities and style of play to perfectly partner one another. Messi is used to being the savior of Barcelona, but Neymar will have a huge role to play as well.
No one believes that Neymar will become the face of Barcelona, and rightly so. But this is still a situation that Messi has not been in during his career. In all likelihood everything will work out beautifully, but Messi will have to adjust a bit for that to happen.
Everyone is waiting to see Messi pair up with Neymar. But allow me to break the cycle by stating that Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba will benefit the most from the Brazilian’s arrival.
As shocking as that statement may sound, it is actually very true.
This season was arguably the best ever for Andres Iniesta. Some will even argue that he outplayed Messi and a good bit of his fine form comes down to the arrival of Jordi Alba. Whether it be at Barcelona or for Spain, Iniesta and Alba form a deadly partnership.
Alba’s forward runs may be the best in the world from a left-back. He links up play with the attack and uses his space to get wide and in behind the defense.
Iniesta often finds himself in situations overlapping with Alba and pulling the defense out of position on the left. But the duo is missing one key piece to be truly lethal.
Neymar will add the third tip of the trident to the Alba and Iniesta partnership that gives opponents a constant headache.
Expect overlapping and through balls to continue, with defenders being forced to play outside of their own box. Alba will have the opportunity to get in behind while Neymar gets space to work his magic. The key will be Iniesta, who will balance out the entire play.
Again, Messi will gain a lot from having a true attacking partner. But it is Alba and Iniesta who will glean the most from Neymar’s arrival. Defenders will have to deal with a fierce attack next season—it will truly be a game of pick your poison.
Who gains the most from Neymar’s arrival? Who will be hurt by the Brazilian? Will Barcelona’s purchase pay off? Leave your thoughts and comments below.