Neymar is a distraction for Barcelona

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In a week when Real Madrid are reportedly willing to offer Tottenham £85m for Gareth Bale, one has to ponder the notion, that particularly in Spain, the acquisition of players is merely about Barcelona or Real Madrid eclipsing each other's most recent transfer.

As a case in point, Neymar, who signed for Barcelona at the start of the transfer window, from a footballing standpoint, is one of the most perplexing deals completed recently. 

Barring his obvious talent and pedigree in his native Brazil and striking potential - 116 goals, 41 appearances in 196 games for Santos - Neymar enters a Barcelona dressing room that already boasts Messi, Pedro, Sanchez and Tello.

Having never played second fiddle to anyone in Brazil, Neymar will have to be utilised on one of the wings as Messi will unquestionably operate from his favoured central position. Perhaps playing in Messi's shadow has already dawned on Neymar but it certainly didn't stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa becoming rather unhappy with their roles within the Barcelona line-up.

Even if they are grooming him for the future, Lionel Messi, lest we forget, is only 26-years-old, meaning that quite conceivably he'll be playing for another six, maybe seven years - a long time to wait for the young Brazilian.

Another important point regards Barcelona's unwillingness to sign a central defender. If we look back at Barcelona's last three major transfers; Fabregas, Sanchez and Villa, all attacking options, none of them have blossomed under Barcelona's system, and although it would be foolish to label them as flops, its fairly palpable that none of them have become indispensable for Barcelona.

All this money spent and still Barcelona lack a solid centre back partnership. Despite Puyol being a solid player and a fine communicator along the back-line, he's injury prone, which has forced midfielders to drop back in to cover for him.

The other stalwart in the Barcelona defence, Gerad Pique, is weak defensively and unable to live with quality opposition. Hence, surely the Neymar money would have been better spent on the acquisition of two quality centre backs. Mats Hummels surely would have been a more solid addition to the Barcelona squad than Neymar is.

Referring back to my opening paragraph, the transfer of Neymar could only have been about Barcelona re-establishing themselves as the team to beat in Europe.

After their thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League, it becomes seemingly obvious that Neymar is merely a distraction for a club which is experiencing problems on and off the field.  


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