After completing his mammoth €222m switch from Barcelona to PSG, it’s fair to say that Neymar has caused a great deal of controversy at his new club.
Bust ups with Edinson Cavani and Unai Emery as well as penalty-gate have set a rather sour tone to the big money deal, something which Neymar would’ve been hoping to avoid. The 25-year-old has set the story straight regarding his relationship with the pair, but for the issue to have risen it would’ve caused a great deal of unrest in the dressing room and hampered his chances of settling in quickly.
However, although the off-field issues may have prolonged his acclimatisation at the club, they don’t seem to be affecting his abilities on the pitch. The Brazilian has helped his side reach the top of the table, losing only one game thus far.
He has featured 12 times in the league, scoring nine goals and registering six assists. His stats look like being some of the best in the league come the end of the season, as he sits just behind teammate Cavani on most combined goals and assists so far.
Alongside the Uruguayan and French starlet Kylian Mbappe, PSG have formed a blistering front line capable of taking apart any team they come up against. Of the 51 league goals the team have netted, the front three have 31 of them, highlighting both their importance and the sheer class in front of goal. The trio took the likes of Celtic and Anderlecht to the cleaners in the Champions League group stage, helping them to finish top. However, their first place finish wasn’t enough for them to avoid a tough draw in the round of 16.
PSG will face Real Madrid in the first knockout round, arguably one of the toughest ties of the lot. The Spanish giants finished second in their group behind Tottenham, and their inconsistent performances in both La Liga and the Champions League have caused Florentino Perez to target the world’s best stars to get them back to their best. And one of those key targets is in fact, Neymar.
A switch back to Spain would surely surround Neymar with even more controversy, as he would be following in Luis Figo and Ronaldo’s boots to play for both Barca and Madrid. The deal would send shockwaves around the footballing world, and really question Neymar’s decision to move to France in the first place. The 25-year-old has finally escaped Lionel Messi’s shadow and is performing to an incredibly high standard.
He has the chance to win multiple awards in the French capital and although Perez has claimed that he would have a better chance of winning the Ballon d’Or if he moved to Madrid, that surely isn’t true. Neymar has the chance to excel for PSG and make them one of the best teams in the league.
The attacking line is, as previously stated, one of the best in the world and the club have the finances to continue to improve the team, and Neymar will be the man they build it around.
PSG are on course to take the league title back from Monaco after enduring a difficult season last term, and this year they look like being genuine contenders for the Champions League. Leading the line, Neymar has the opportunity to create history for the French club, not just this season but for a number of years. By avoiding Real Madrid’s advances this summer, the Brazilian can shine in a club hoping to become the best in the world, and if he leads his side to Champions League glory, he must be a shoe in for the Ballon d’Or next year.