Neymar’s journey at PSG might be coming to an end. When he was signed back in 2017 from Barcelona for a record €220m, the French giants hoped he’d be the poster boy for their success. Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan.
While Neymar has produced brilliant numbers (100 goals and 60 assists in 144 appearances) – he has not been able to help PSG win the big gold aka the UEFA Champions League. PSG are now ready to sell the Brazilian for the right offer (as per Goal) and are ready to move on from him.
But they would, of course, need a suitable replacement to fill his shoes if Neymar leaves. Finding a replacement who can produce similar numbers can be difficult. So let’s take a look at three ideal Neymar replacements for PSG.
Ousmane Dembele to replace Neymar?
To replace someone like Neymar, PSG could go back toe-dipping in Barcelona. They might not even have to pay a transfer fee for his replacement. Barca winger Ousmane Dembele is set to leave the club after failing to sign a new contract extension.
The French side are highly interested in his signing and have even offered him a lucrative €17m-a-year wages contract (as per Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti). Kylian Mbappe also reportedly wants his fellow French national team with him at PSG as his next partner.
Despite his injury history, Dembele proved that he has overcome those problems and can record impressive goal numbers last season. He was La Liga’s top assist king, with 13 assists in just 21 appearances. The Frenchman’s extremely creative with his pinpoint crosses and ability to set something up from nothing.
He is versatile enough to play anywhere in a front-three and is comfortable in both wings. Dembele has nice chemistry with Mbappe and Lionel Messi – having played with both in his career and can be an ideal replacement for Neymar as well as add more energy & creativity to PSG’s attack.
Christopher Nkunku: PSG’s big summer return
If PSG are looking to replace Neymar with a player who can produce that much sheer number of goals and assists, there’s one Bundesliga star possible of fulfilling the criteria. RB Leipzig winger Christopher Nkunku had an amazing campaign with his club, capped off with winning the Bundesliga Player of the Season award and helping his side win the DFB Pokal.
Nkunku was an absolute menace for defenders from all teams last season. His ability to dribble past players with ease, create chances from a variety of situations and clinical finishing ability helped him soar. The Frenchman ended the season with 50 goal contributions, including 35 goals and 15 assists.
Incidentally, Nkunku is a product of PSG’s academy. They let him leave for free in 2019 and are now regretting it. But then again, there is always the possibility of a return.
In fact, when recently asked about whether he’ll return to PSG, he said, “Afterwards, as I have always said, PSG is my home, my heart club, where I was trained. I don’t close any doors. Everything is possible in football.”
PSG are also similarly interested in bringing him back and he’d be the perfect successor to Neymar. Nkunku has that special skill to wow fans and can contribute to goals regularly. Despite his alleged €75m+ transfer tag, PSG would have long-term benefits from spending big on bringing him back and making him a key part of their attack.
Arnaut Danjuma: The next Neymar?
A “wild card” pick for Neymar’s potential replacement could be another rising star from La Liga. Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma had a really impressive season with his club last season and played a major role in helping them defy the odds and progress to the Champions League semi-finals.
He scored six goals and had one assist in 11 Champions League games, including goals against Juventus and Bayern Munich. Danjuma ended the season with 16 goals and foue assists, which is quite impressive for a defensive side like Villarreal.
WhoScored state his strengths to be finishing, dribbling ability, crossing ability, set-piece prowess and creating big chances. Danjuma can play as a left-winger or even a centre-forward, meaning he’s bound to add more versatility and dynamism to the PSG set-up.
The French side are ready to make a move for him if able to offload Neymar (as per Marca), so they’ve already outlined him as an option
The 25-year-old winger is soon to hit his peak and has some prolific years ahead, as PSG can benefit from that and add an unpredictable threat to their attack.