For a long time this summer, the transfer saga regarding Barcelona’s Neymar raged on and on. It’s finally over, with PSG sending €222 million to Barcelona for the release clause. The Brazilian winger has been a hot topic this off-season and with this kind of money, Barcelona can fill in a lot of gaps in their roster.
Let the number sink in for a moment. That’s €222 million. Yes, Neymar was one of Barcelona’s best players and it was not as though they wanted to get rid of him, but with this kind of deal, it opens up a number of plausible possibilities they can consider for positions that have been weaknesses in the past.
The majority of this money goes directly into the team’s transfer budget, and although they do need to get right on signing a replacement for Neymar, that money will go a long way towards filling in that gap along with several others. Then, when people are talking about a huge range of football bets, Barcelona will be in the mix for a long time to come.. But who could Barcelona go after?
First, they need to be serious about replacing Neymar. It’s not going to be easy to fill those shoes, but there are a number of prospects, but they could cost a lot, too. Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappé and Philippe Coutinho have all been mentioned as reasonable replacements, but if Barcelona plays their cards right and thinks long and hard about not just immediate return, but long-term, they would do well to focus on Ousmane Dembélé.
Dembélé is only 21 and even though he lacks some vital experience, he has superstar potential, and he would cost a lot less than many of the other key prospects. Barcelona could realistically be able to acquire him for €100 million.
At the other end of the pitch, Napoli have rejected offers for Kalidou Koulibaly of €56 million and slightly higher. The central defender has unquestionably ability that would fit Barcelona’s style well. He may not attract the kind of attention that Leonardo Bonucci or Mats Hummels do, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a solid defender. In fact, Koulibaly is solid on both sides of the pitch and can deliver precise passes and chip in with goals.
As a third option, Julian Weigl could garner a fair amount of attention from Barcelona, and he’s valued at only €55 million. Central midfield is one of the key positions that Barcelona needs to strengthen and acquiring a player of Weigl’s calibre could go a long way toward doing that. Not only is Weigl a solid presence in the centre of the field with his technique and intelligence, but he’s only 21, which means he could be a valuable asset for years into the future.
When you start to see the potential for Barcelona with the money they received for the Neymar transfer, it’s easy to understand why the deal might actually work out better for their general standing. They could ultimately build a powerhouse team for years to come if they focus on making the right moves with this transfer money right now.