A Brazilian Football Expert On Why Manchester City Need To Sign Neymar Now
Neymar could be a truly exceptional player. He is probably the only reason why you can't rule out Brazil winning the World Cup at home -- despite one of their worst generations in decades. To get him, Manchester City would have to make a phenomenal offer. But even if they do, there is no guarantee loads of money will take the 21-year-old anywhere that is not Barcelona or Real Madrid.
There is also a big chance of thin and diving-prone Neymar fumbling in English football in his first season. His style seems more easily adaptable to Spain, where opposition is not that stiff and defenders play in line. He could do well in any league after some preparation, but if he comes now to a place where scoring is difficult, he will lose his confidence for the World Cup and, maybe, for everything else.
For now, Neymar isn't physical enough to be a striker here and his capabilities as a winger would disappear against English teams that care much more about defending -- with zone and man-to-man marking. His best moments come as an attacking-midfielder who needs the ball in front of him. When playing in the flanks, the Brazilian does better with fast midfielders -- which is not David Silva's case.
Most important is that Neymar's priority is to play a great World Cup at home. That is all he talks about. So any adaptation to a tough league (which is not what they have in Spain) would come at a very slow pace. If Manchester City is okay with paying a lot to get a great footballer after Brazil 2014, they should sign him right now. But can they afford to wait that long?
Also, Neymar likes to enjoy life. You can picture him being happy in Barcelona. You can imagine he would have happy days in Madrid. How about Manchester?
How about learning a language that is not even close to Portuguese, just like Spanish is? How about playing for a club he had never heard of until very recently? How much would that affect his skills and his confidence? I tend to think it would be a great deal for him to overcome in England.
Citizens would probably make a good bet if, instead of thinking of Neymar wearing blue, they accept it is much more likely to see him next to Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in the near future. Money isn't enough for you to buy a lot of things. One of them is a boyhood dream to play for one of the world's greatest clubs ever.