Neymar’s injury presents opportunity for others to shine


Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-0 victory over Marseille in Le Classique was soured by a metatarsal injury that has put an abrupt halt to Neymar’s season.

Whilst the club’s fans may mourn the loss of such a phenomenal talent, his injury presents an opportunity for others to stake a claim at the club. We explore how opportunity could be born from this episode of adversity.

The injury to the Brazilian means that he is likely to experience an extended period on the sidelines as he seeks to rehabilitate, something that will put a significant dampener on what had otherwise promised to be an exceptional point scoring tally for the Parisians come the end of the season.

Since making his debut at the beginning of the campaign, Neymar has managed an emphatic 102 points for PSG having scored 20 goals and assisted a further 13 in his 20 league appearances – form that has arguably justified the super club’s willingness to invest the eye-watering €222 million fee that simultaneously secured his signature for the club and made him the world’s most expensive player.

The absence of the club’s talisman means that the runaway Ligue 1 leaders will have to adapt their system to accommodate for this high profile loss.

However, the loss will likely not prove to be particularly disastrous for the side, due to the plethora of other superstars that they can call upon to take the role previously occupied by the 26-year-old.

Centre forward Edinson Cavani is one such player. Having made 24 appearances this season, the 30-year-old Uruguayan has netted a formidable 24 goals and assisted a further four – a record that puts him on an emphatic 97 points for the campaign, just five short of Neymar’s record.

With his star having been outshone by the arrival of his teammate, this could be the moment for him to remind the faithful supporters of les Parisiens that he too is capable of delivering magic on the big stage.

Another player that may well be buoyed by the opportunities that are presented by Neymar’s lay-off will be their other big money summer arrival Kylian Mbappe.

Having signed on a convoluted loan-to-buy deal that has seen him swap the south coast principality of Monaco in a deal that could purportedly hit a total cost of €180 million, the 19-year-old has had an impressive maiden campaign for PSG but has failed to hit the same heights as the likes of Neymar or Cavani but has remained impressive all the same.

His 20 appearances have yielded a record of 10 goals and eight assists, a more than respectable return for someone of his age.

With the league title almost a given, this could prove a grand opportunity for these players to truly express themselves on the grand stage that is the Parc des Princes.

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