First off, I would like to apologise for the lack of activity over the last week or so, I was on holiday in Italy and the place where we were staying didn’t have WiFi, so I couldn’t access the site.
So, what have we missed? That’s right, Neymar. PSG signed the Brazilian for £200,000,000 on August 3rd, and the deal sent the football world into meltdown, but what I’m finding more amazing is Barcelona’s response. They’ve just lost a player who is one of the best three in the world, and now have to build their team around a declining Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, both of which have three seasons maximum, in my opinion, until their careers come to a standstill. They need a world-class signing to replace Neymar, and they want Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho? I just don’t get it.
I’m not denying that Coutinho is a fantastic player, but Barcelona need someone who will carry on the legacy, someone who is still relatively young, but has shown that he is already world-class. Coutinho, I would say, is about the fifth best in the Premier League, so is clearly not at the level needed.
Barcelona need to make a statement signing. Their legendary front three is falling apart, the spine of their midfield is crumbling with the ageing of Busquets and Iniesta, and their defence is too, with Pique and Mascherano both reaching the climax of their careers. They need to go and spend £100m on a world class player, to show PSG and Real Madrid that they are not going to die away.
I think that Eden Hazard would be the perfect signing. He’s only 26, but has already won the PFA Player Of The Year Award, the PFA Young Player Of The Year, and the FWA Player Of The Year Award. He has been previously heavily linked with Real Madrid, but those rumours seem to have died down. Hazard’s pace, dribbling and skill is reminiscent of that of Neymar, and his social presence is far bigger than Coutinho’s, which would certainly be an asset to the Catalans.
Should Coutinho sign, it is expected that he will play similarly to how Pedro did before Suarez and Neymar came, just keeping his head down and helping create space for Messi and Villa to reek havoc amongst the opposition defence, but I can’t see that working like it did back then. Messi is a hugely different player to the one he was back then, he’s not quite as direct or explosive as he was, and now focuses more opening up the opposition and creating space in tight situations. Without a super-quick winger to support him, I can see his career declining very quickly.
Another deal that confuses me is the Paulinho move. The Brazilian flopped at Spurs, and hasn’t yet proved himself at a big club. He’s currently in China earning a reported £100,000 per week, and doing fairly well, but certainly not well enough to warrant a £50m move to Barcelona. They definitely need a midfielder, as Andre Gomez and Sergi Roberto are looking decidedly below-par, but surely they should get someone who is a sure success, rather than a player who’s had a couple of decent seasons in Brazil and failed at Tottenham? It really does boggle me.
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