The summer of 2017 was euphoric for Paris Saint-Germain supporters. Neymar Jr. was coming to the French capital, and surely a UEFA Champions League wouldn’t be far behind.
It’s now 2023, and PSG finds itself in a dire situation. Back-to-back defeats in the Round of 16 and Neymar nowhere to be found when the club needed him the most due to an ankle injury. Clearly, the Brazil international wasn’t following the training staff’s do’s and don’t for muscle soreness.
This isn’t the first time Neymar has been unavailable due to injury. He’s missed time due to injury in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023, and nearly every time Neymar went down, it was during the second half of the season.
Another important aspect of the Neymar situation at PSG is the financials. The club paid a €222 million buy-out fee for Neymar, and he currently makes €4 million gross per month or nearly €50 million per year. That is an outrageous amount to pay for a player who is continuously unable to play in the biggest matches.
As things stand, Neymar remains on these wages, and he recently underwent surgery to repair his ankle and hopefully minimize the potential for further injury. PSG would be open to selling the player, but it might take a miracle.
Think about it, what team would be willing to pay Neymar what he’s making, given his injury history? It’s been reported that the club needs to reduce its wage bill by 30 percent this summer due to Financial Fair Play regulations, but that reduction won’t be from Neymar’s sale.
Instead, PSG may need to let Lionel Messi walk away and sell players like Leandro Paredes, Julian Draxler, and others to make the numbers work.
The hope is that Neymar’s surgery does strengthen his ankle and he’s able to return to his best. There’s no question that the 31-year-old superstar has immense quality, but the best ability is availability.
For Neymar’s legacy, he needs to string together a few seasons where he plays the majority of matches and leads PSG to a Champions League title. That was the dream six years ago, but now time is running out.
Mbappé will likely be on the move after next season, we mentioned Messi departing after this season, and there’s no guarantee PSG will be able to build a squad around Neymar, and they may not want to, given his injury history.
The signing of Neymar may cripple PSG in the upcoming years on the field, but I guess all those jersey sales and marketing opportunities were worth it.