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Reuters / Sergio Perez

When the 2017 summer transfer window came to a close, the word on most lips was the world record transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to PSG. Apart from the financially mind-boggling nature of the deal, the biggest concerns raised were about how Barcelona would cope with the loss of one of the world’s best talents.

The initially failed transfer of Philippe Coutinho, followed by the injury of the young and record-breaking arrival Ousmane Dembele all led many to write the Catalans off for the season.

However, fast forward to the present day, and Barcelona are doing brilliantly without the Brazilian star. In fact, the La Liga giants might even be better off bereft of Neymar, and here are three reasons why:

 

A Return to Team Play Style

Lionel Messi said it best when he spoke to Mirror, stating that: “Without Neymar we are more balanced. His departure led to a change in the way we play. We have lost a lot of our offensive potential but we have improved in defence. We have more balance and this allows us to be more solid.”

Indeed, the club has seen a merciful return to its days of swagger and charming play after the exit of Neymar. Simply put, Barcelona relied far too much on solely the attacking intent of the MSN trident, and through it, lost its flair for total football.

But since the summer, under the guidance and tactful techniques of Ernesto Valverde, the team is being crafted more and more into a midfield-reliant ethos. This is most blatant…



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