A decade of football includes 20 transfer windows where hundreds of players are moved from team-to-team around the world. Somehow, Kieran Francis of Goal picked Neymar Jr. out of a massive pool of players as one of his 15 worst transfers of the decade. Absolute madness and it’s not the first time this has been said.
In the Goal article, Neymar is lumped in with the likes of Roberto Soldado to Tottenham Hotspur, Andy Carrol from Newcastle United FC to Liverpool FC, and Wilfried Bony from Swansea City to Manchester City. The disrespect cannot stand.
Essentially, Francis argues that while Neymar has scored 60 goals and recorded 35 assists in 70 appearances for PSG, he was brought in to win the UEFA Champions League and so far, he has yet to deliver due primarily to injuries.
Francis also brings up the drama last summer where Neymar tried to force a move back to FC Barcelona. He’s technically not wrong in anything he is saying here but he’s leaving out quite a bit.
First of all, Neymar wasn’t only brought in to win the Champions League. That’s a ridiculous statement manufactured by the media. No one player will guarantee that you will win the hardest competition in club football. Sure, having Neymar certainly helps if that’s your ultimate goal but that’s not the only reason PSG signed him.
The number of sponsorship deals that PSG has signed since Neymar arrived in the French capital can’t be ignored. The Brazil international instantly raised the club’s profile and that led to more lucrative contracts that will ultimately aid in PSG staying compliant with Financial Fair Play. The goal is for PSG to become more self-sustaining and rely less on money from Qatar.
Also, the €222 million price tag PSG paid for Neymar is often used as a way to criticize the player because he’s been injured so often that many detractors say he hasn’t played in enough matches to justify that fee. Well, it’s not like PSG wanted to pay that amount. That was the buyout Barcelona set and it was because of their unwillingness to negotiate that PSG was forced to trigger the clause.
Has the transfer worked out exactly how PSG and supporters thought it would? No. Is Neymar the worst transfer of the decade? Absolutely not and he’s not even close to it.
Neymar still has two years left on his deal at PSG so to call the transfer the worst of the decade is a bit premature. He’s finally healthy and along with Kylian Mbappé, Mauro Icardi, and Angel Di Maria, the 27-year-old leads arguably the most talented attack in world football. He’s happy at PSG and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could sign an extension and remain in the French capital long-term.
Let’s hold off on declaring this transfer a failure until we see how this season goes and what he decides to do next summer. The clicks will be there for you then too, Goal.
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