Neymar the Right Signing to Help Barcelona Win, Says Former VP Jordi Mestre

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 01: Neymar Jr of Paris Saint-Germain looks on during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier HSC at Parc des Princes on February 01, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona should re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain if they want to improve results, according to former club vice-president Jordi Mestre. 

Neymar left the Catalan club in acrimonious circumstances for a world-record £200 million fee in 2017.

The Brazilian has won two Ligue 1 titles since moving to PSG, but during his time at the club the French giants have suffered two premature exits from the UEFA Champions League.

Late last season, after an injury-hit campaign, Neymar's relationship with the club's hierarchy looked irreparable. 

His departure from the Parc des Princes seemed inevitable, and a return to Barca was mooted.

In the end, though, a deal could not be struck, and Neymar remained at PSG, where he has been successfully reintegrated into the side by manager Thomas Tuchel and is thriving despite his recent rib injury:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

Neymar this season 💫 🔵 18 games ⚽️ 15 goals 🅰️ 10 assists #UCL https://t.co/EJUTDtNViP

Barca, meanwhile, are enduring difficulties both on and off the pitch, with manager Ernesto Valverde having recently been replaced by Quique Setien, and Lionel Messi having had a public spat with sporting director Eric Abidal:

B/R Football @brfootball

Lionel Messi hits out at Barcelona's Sporting Director and former team-mate Eric Abidal 👀 https://t.co/8FCBU48YE5

Mestre, who resigned from his role in July, is aware that there will be some who do not want to see Neymar back at the Camp Nou due to the circumstances of his initial departure. 

But he believes the return of the 28-year-old would improve results on the pitch, per El Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana's Colin Millar):

"From the emotional point of view for how he left, I would not sign him. From a sporting point of view, I would sign him. In my opinion, he provides a skill-set that very few players have, it is the one-on-one talent and he scores lots of goal. 

"Something we need in many games where the opponent is locked back. Yes, I would sign him if, of course we could afford it. For a securities issue? If we want to fool ourselves, go ahead, in the end we are so used to winning titles that we talk about values, which is also very good, of course. 

"But in the end what interests are the results. If we value above all values, then let's dedicate ourselves to rugby, [where] values​​ far exceed football. If we didn't win anything, we would sign Neymar and whoever was needed."

There is no doubt Barca could benefit from having a player of Neymar's ability back at the club, not least because of the weight of his goalscoring.

Injuries have kept him regularly sidelined at PSG, but in the 51 Ligue 1 games he has played in the last three seasons, he has netted 47 goals, and also provided 26 assists.

Since Neymar left Barca, the goalscoring burden on Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez has only increased—the pair have netted 25 of the club's 55 league goals this term. 

The Uruguayan striker is now sidelined after knee surgery, meaning Messi has to take up even more slack.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner is, of course, more than capable of carrying his side through almost anything:

LaLiga English @LaLigaEN

1⃣4⃣ goals 1⃣1⃣ assists ✨ Leo Messi has been involved in a goal every 61 minutes in #LaLigaSantander this season! 💙 @FCBarcelona ❤️ https://t.co/JI0ZhUAHnT

But it is clear that Barca are short in attack.

Ousmane Dembele is sidelined along with Suarez, and summer signing Antoine Griezmann is not firing; his last league goal came in December.

Ansu Fati continues to impress, but he is only 17.

It does not bode well for a club that need to win at least one of La Liga or the Champions League this season in order for it to be considered a success.

They are still in the running for both. But Barca's season is in a precarious position with March 1's El Clasico against league leaders Real Madrid coming in between the two legs of their Champions League last 16 tie against Napoli.