Barcelona this summer purchased one of the hottest talents in world football.
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior arrived at the Nou Camp this season to inspire Barcelona to European success again after last year's heart breaking exit to Bayern Munich.
Barcelona were not going to willingly allow this to happen again, they made a big statement by signing Neymar, but just how has Neymar helped?
Neymar at Santos was the nucleus of a team that was shaped around him receiving the ball as often as possible. He was able to roam freely and score as many goals as he could, but at Barcelona with stars such as current Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in the ranks he is now part of a first-rate Barcelona team.
However, Neymar has adapted to the environment very quickly, he has linked up the play fantastically well so far this season, but Tata Martino should be rewarded with some of the credit.
Martino had examined all the microscopic weaknesses and has improved up on them. A slight weakness last season was Barcelona tried to play too central and did not use the width as best they could.
Although Barcelona’s formation is still the 4-3-3 false nine, they no longer operate down the middle so frequently - they have balanced their play. Barcelona are now stretched and their wingers are hugging the line down the wings.
Neymar is the best example of this as Martino has positioned the Brazilian far wide to stretch the play and make his Barcelona team spread out in order to make them harder to mark. With Neymar playing far out wide when he does choose to come inside and look for his counterparts such as Lionel Messi, he has more space to run in to.
This could be a reason for Messi’s slight dip in form as the wings are now used often so Messi is not the main source of Barcelona’s attack.
Although it's difficult to call it a dip in form - by his standards not scoring for a couple of games is a goal drought.
Neymar’s influence has been evident but his contribution does not stop there - he has also netted three times for the Catalan giants and with bags of confidence that record will surely increase.
Martino has also made his right winger stretch the play too and whether that be Alexis Sanchez or Pedro they should be credited too, both have played well at the start of this season and have played a big part in Martino shaping his side.
Martino’s Barcelona sit top of the La Liga on 34 points, six ahead of Real Madrid but only one clear of Athletico Madrid, however Martrino’s side have been very convincing and his slight changes to the team has developed the Barcelona starting eleven.
Messi and Neymar combining together will only create more goals for the La Liga champions and if Barcelona can discover a perfect balance for the amount of chances they create on the wing and in the centre they will be well on their way to European success again.
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