According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have finally dropped their pursuit of Neymar. Paris Saint-Germain reportedly wanted Jean-Clair Todibo, Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic, in addition to a large sum of money in exchange for the Brazilian superstar. However, the move has been called off after Barca deemed that offer as too expensive and financially not viable.
This will be a massive blow for Barcelona. And in this article, we will evaluate every one of the club’s viable attacking options this season, now that they have missed out on the Brazilian.
Still regarded by many as the best player in world football, Lionel Messi will once again be Barcelona’s weapon-in-chief going forward. He will primarily operate on the right-flank but can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder, at times. Messi’s flawless ball-carrying quality will be crucial as ever for a Barcelona side that will have no Philippe Coutinho this season.
Luis Suarez’s steady fall from grace has been somewhat evident over the past 12 months. The Uruguayan international has struggled with a lack of fitness, at times. But, he is still Barcelona’s main striker, and manager Valverde will be desperate to have him back from injury.
Ousmane Dembele will be desperate to return from injury this season. The departure of Philippe Coutinho coupled with Neymar’s failed return to Catalonia means the Frenchman will be given a more prominent role in the first-team, at least until January. It could be an excellent opportunity for the 22-year-old to make an impression and finally lay his mark in the Barcelona camp.
Antoine Griezmann has been quite a useful signing for FC Barcelona this summer. The Frenchman can either be used as a left-winger or a central striker. With Suarez out injured, the ex-Atletico Madrid star has fitted in perfectly in the number nine slot. But, the return of the Uruguayan will see him shift into a wider role. This tactical versatility could be handy for the club going forward.
Rafinha has put in a couple of promising performances in the early season. He has shown a lot of tenacity, and his willingness to take on defenders and create scoring opportunity means the Spaniard can be considered as a potential replacement for Coutinho. Although the creative midfielder is unlikely to receive too many chances, he is more than a quality individual, who can perform whenever called upon.
Carles Perez could be transformed into a real asset, should Valverde manage to integrate him into the first-team this season. The academy star scored a goal in the win over Real Betis last weekend, and at the age of 21, he is starting to show what he is capable of when given an opportunity. For the time being, Perez should be utilised as a backup for both Griezmann and Dembele.
Barcelona will need to be careful about how they plan to develop Ansu Fati. The youngster recently became the second-youngest player to represent the Catalan outfit, featuring as a substitute against Real Betis. He is a left-winger by trade, but at the age of just 16, he is probably a little too young actually to make waves in senior football.