Thursday, June 30, 2022

Barcelona Now In Pole Position To Sign Neymar: How Can He Be Implemented In The Attack?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to reports in Spain, as cited by Daily Record, Barcelona are in pole position to sign Neymar this summer. It is believed that PSG are open to letting their prized asset leave for a cut-price loan deal so long there is an option to buy clause added in the contract. 

Barcelona have recently offloaded Philippe Coutinho and are ready to make a swoop for their prodigal son as we head into the final phase of the transfer market. But, how could Ernesto Valverde possibly implement the Brazilian into the attack?

The impossible 4-3-3

With the potential addition of Neymar, Barcelona will have no less than five attractive first-team options in the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and the winger himself. Therefore, continuing with Valverde’s signature 4-3-3 could become problematic unless at least two of them start on the bench.

But should Valverde still opt for a 4-3-3, it will likely revive the once-revered attacking trifecta of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Messi(providing he’s fit) will operate on the right-wing, with Neymar appearing on the opposite flank. Suarez will lead the attack.

But, with the Uruguayan international struggling to keep up with his fitness, we could expect Griezmann to feature as a sub and operate as the false nine. Dembele, too, can be utilised as a super-sub, which makes sense given his pace and dynamism.

The sensible 4-2-3-1

Barcelona have been flirting with the idea of offloading Ivan Rakitic for quite some now. And implementing the 4-2-3-1, upon the arrival of Neymar, is likely to phase him out of the starting lineup. This is mainly because the double-pivot will likely be occupied by Sergio Busquets and new signing Frenkie de Jong, with Arthur Melo and Carles Alena serving as potential alternatives.

In attack, Messi could operate as the genuine number ten. Suarez will spearhead the attack, with Griezmann and Neymar working as wingers. The 4-2-3-1 is also more flexible as it can easily be transformed into a 4-4-2. Griezmann is particularly familiar with this compact formation and will be an excellent fit in attack alongside Suarez.

Messi and Neymar will be deployed as the two wide-attackers, though in a much-advanced position than usual – almost making this a 4-2-4. That being said, it could affect Barca’s ball retention due to the lack of numerical superiority in midfield, especially with Rakitic not playing.

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