Four Players Who Could Replace Neymar At Barcelona This Season

Four Players Who Could Replace Neymar At Barcelona This Season
Aug 3, 2017

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As the Neymar transfer saga is drawing to a close, with the Brazilian set to join PSG for a whopping £198 million, but how can Barcelona replace the outgoing 25-year-old?

With the famous MSN set to break up, Barcelona need a new star player to take up the vacant left-wing role who can help the club continue to dominate football. During Neymar’s time at the Spanish club, the team won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Rey trophies and in his second season played a fundamental part in the club lifting the Champions League. So who can come in and fill the void left by the superstar?

Philippe Coutinho

As one Brazilian leaves the Camp Nou, another might be on their way to the club. Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has been a constant target of Barcelona’s during this summer transfer window and have already had two bids rejected by Liverpool for the 25-year-old. Marcelo Belcher, the journalist who broke the news that Neymar was set to join PSG over two weeks ago, has come out and said Barcelona are in advanced talks for Coutinho. South American football expert Tim Vickery has said that Coutinho is the perfect fit for the Spanish outfit.

Ex-Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho has also had his say and is hopeful that Barcelona will sign the right player, “There are only very few players in the world who can replace Neymar – and I have said that I think Coutinho could play for them. He is at a level where he could come and fill the gap left by Neymar.” Expect Barcelona to come in with a better offer now that Neymar is confirmed to be leaving for PSG.

Ousmane Dembélé

At just 20-years-old, Dembélé is one of the hottest prospects in world football and is wanted by Barcelona, as reported by the Independent on Tuesday. Reports today suggest Borussia Dortmund rejected a bid from Arsenal for the winger so his future is shrouded in doubt especially after a training ground bust up with goalkeeper Roman Burki.

Dembélé is rumoured to want to leave the German club and with the left wing role now open at Barcelona, the young Frenchman will continue to develop over the next few years and has at least a decade of great football ahead of him. With 6 goals and 12 assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances last season and 6 assists in 10 Uefa Champions League games, his assist records will entice Barcelona who need someone who will link up well with Lionel Messi and Luis Luis Suárez.

Eden Hazard

Chelsea superstar and world class footballer Eden Hazard is also a target for Barcelona, with the Catalonian club ready to make a £100 million bid for the Belgian. At 26 years old, Hazard has one year extra on Neymar and so is a ready made player who can slot in and replace him immediately. With two league titles in the past three years, Hazard has been the catalyst for Chelsea’s dominance in the league and has an impressive 57 goals and 35 assists in 174 Premier League games.

Hazard currently has 3 more years left on his contract and after speculation about his future with Real Madrid lining him up as Ronaldo’s successor, Hazard told The Straits Times during pre-season, “I’m good here. I’m at one of the best clubs in the world and I think I’m going to stay for a couple of years. I’m very happy. Although Hazard will most likely cost the most as Chelsea have already sold first team player Nemanja Matic this summer, the winger will be worth every penny and could be a worthy replacement for the Brazilian, with Barcelona getting a player who is on par with Neymar in my opinion.

Paulo Dybala

Another player on Barcelona’s watch list, again revealed by the Independent was Messi’s international team mate Paulo Dybala. Dybala is another young talent who could be a Barcelona player for the next decade and his records stand him in good stead. Although he lacks the assists that his young rival Dembélé manages, Dybala is far more clinical in goal, scoring 30 times in 65 Serie A league games. However, Dybala does play as a supporting striker behind Gonzalo Higuaín at Juventus, so his goals scored should be higher than Dembélé’s.

Dybala scored twice against Barcelona in this year’s Champions League competition so the club knows all about his talents and so does compatriot Lionel Messi who said, “Paulo is a great player with a big future. I’m sure he will give people a lot to talk about in the coming years” in an interview with Tuttosport back in 2015.

Barcelona’s cash stack will be bulging once Neymar’s move is completed and so will be able to buy any player they choose. With the new season just around the corner, don’t expect the club’s hierarchy to sit around and play the waiting game. Barcelona need a new superstar and fast to please their fans, with any one of the above potentially wearing a new club jersey with Barcelona colours before the window shuts later this month.

 

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